Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (04.20.12) - Tuesday, April 24,
Through his "Seen on da Streets" program, Fred Evans has
secured state funding to take culturally appropriate STD
testing into urban communities, so far testing upwards of
11,000 young people.
In December, Evans - the community health coordinator for
north Minneapolis' Fremont Clinic - joined with the University
of Minnesota's Program in Health Disparities Research, the
health plan UCare, community health programs, and local
barbershops to host "Clipper Clinics." The clinics, which
offer free preventive health services and haircuts to anyone
who comes in, "have proven extremely successful," said Evans.
Brian Davis, proprietor of Brian D's Old School Barbers,
agrees. Happy that health care providers recognize the
potential in the relationships black men have historically
enjoyed with their barbers, Davis hosted the February Clipper
Clinic, and called it "a huge success."
Although Evans maintains that discussing sexual health with
people who "look like you and come from where you're from"
will best connect with the underserved, especially young black
men, he said everyone must assume responsibility.
"This isn't a black, white or Latino issue - it affects
everybody, so everybody needs to do their part," said Evans.
Minnesota communities of color remain disproportionately
affected by STDs. The state recently reported that the
gonorrhea rate for blacks was 26 times that of whites, and
blacks' chlamydia rate was 10 times that of whites. Since
2008, however, gonorrhea and chlamydia rates for blacks have
decreased by more than 45 percent and 16 percent,
respectively. Peter Carr, director of STDs and AIDS for the
Minnesota Department of Health, said community efforts like
the Clipper Clinics are "exactly the kind of approaches we
need to try and address this disparity."