In 2018, AIDS United participated in two convenings of gay and bisexual Hispanic/Latinx men to strategize a response to the overrepresentation of Latinx people in new HIV incidence. A call-to-action from the Latinx Gay and Bisexual Men’s HIV Prevention and Treatment Action Coalition was released in March 2019. One action item was to “meaningfully support the leadership pipeline by funding training and learning exchanges, creating safe professional development spaces, and creating leadership positions and other jobs for young Latinx gay and bisexual men in the HIV sector.”
Out of this community need, Conexiones Positivas/Positive Connections supports community-designed and led approaches to leadership development of gay and bisexual men, other men who have sex with men and transgender Hispanic/Latinx men who are living with or vulnerable to HIV. With support from ViiV Healthcare, we were proud to grant $100,000 to four organizations dedicated to this work.
“At ViiV Healthcare, we see firsthand the value of developing community-led solutions, safe spaces and trusted networks to encourage those most impacted by HIV to engage in care,” said Marc Meachem, Head, US External Affairs, ViiV Healthcare. “We’re proud to contribute to the work AIDS United is doing through Conexiones Positivas to ensure Latinx men benefit from HIV services that are responsive to their needs.”
On March 24, an external review team of gay, bi and trans Latinx Men who are living with or from communities vulnerable to HIV, ranked and selected four organizations from diverse intersections of the Latinx community for an 8-month project grant with a low-barrier approached based on community feedback provided by our Positive Action for Latinx Men Think Tank.
The 2022 grantees will work to improve and support efforts in Hispanic/Latinx communities of gay, bisexual and trans men to educate and decrease stigma regarding HIV & AIDS. The capacity of these organizations will have access to culturally humble, competent and linguistically accessible technical assistance. Through community-identified approaches, Conexiones Positivas/Positive Connections supports the innovative advocacy and education efforts of the grantees to reduce stigma based on their local, state and federal interests. The grant supports the creation and improvement of local community networks, as well as leverage national partnerships to support connections and decrease isolation.
Meet the 2021-2022 grantees:
- AIDS Alabama / Alabama Latin AIDS Coalition -“PRIDE” – Population to reach ages 24-74. Thisorganization will recruit 30 people living with HIV, from which they will find three potential transmasculine leaders to be active in social campaign photos, stories, videos and resources for workshops. These potential leaders will also actively participate in three events during Pride Alabama.
- Latinx+ / The Next Steps – Population to reach: ages 24-74. Located in Milford, Pennsylvania, Latinx/The Next Steps has 14 founding community leaders living with HIV from diverse, Spanish-speaking nationalities focused on the networking expansion of Latinx leaders into 20 states and Puerto Rico. They hope to recruit a person of transmasculine experience onto their board of governance.
- I AM Foundation – LatinX Trans Men, Dysphoria and HIV Prevention – Population to reach: ages 18-55. Their planned activities focus on fomenting humanizing clinical care providers to provide services for the population of transmen in Ellenwood, Georgia.
- Galaei / Transgender, Intersex, Non-binary and Gender Non-conforming Services coordinator (TINGS) – According to 2019 state HIV surveillance data, there are approximately 35 Latinx trans individuals living with HIV in North Philadelphia. This funding will be an important asset to Galaei, their work in community has impact the lives of 4,400 unduplicated individuals with HIV/STI testing, education or connected to care and resources.
Stay tuned to the AIDS United blog and social media to stay up to date on the work of these grantees and other efforts that support Hispanic/Latinx communities of gay, bisexual and trans men.