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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

MINNESOTA: A Shave, Haircut and Health Talk


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."


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