Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (12.08.11) - Friday, December 16,
A new state plan to prevent HIV and other STDs was presented
to about 20 health care providers and community advocates on
Dec. 8 at the Star Institute in Lubbock. The Texas HIV/STD
Prevention Community Planning Group created the document;
Ricky Waite, a local member, outlined key aspects of the
approach for representatives from Amarillo, Midland-Odessa, El
Paso and Lubbock.
The mission is to be "a community plan that speaks to people
and provides a guide with recommendations for reducing HIV and
STD infection, regardless of funding or lack of it," said
The region must address issues such as policy, stigma, health
care, criminal justice, and education as part of prevention
planning, Waite said. "We can no longer just have [testing and
treatment] as our only prevention. We have to start looking at
�How does this affect HIV prevention?' We have to look at
community organizations such as schools . . . [and] stigma,
from family and friends to social networks."
Incorporating community input, linking prevention to care, and
coordinating prevention efforts statewide are goals of the
effort, according to Waite. The plan prioritizes outreach to
nine population groups at particularly high risk for HIV
Linda Brice, an RN and associate professor at Texas Tech
Health Sciences Center, said the presentation was helpful. As
founder and director of programs for Teen Straight Talk, a sex
education effort aimed at youths and their families, Brice
noted the importance of nonprofits working together to share
information and contacts. She believes community outreach is
one of the answers to Lubbock's problem of high STD/HIV rates.
"We've got to be able to reach everybody," she said.