APICHA Programs Update
November/December 2009 Edition
Editor-In-Chief: Jonathan Chang
Editorial Committee: Jennifer Chung, Diana Lieu, Zaheer Mustafa, Malvin Vien
11/7* – LGBTQ A&PI Youth Mentorship (GAYME), “Civil Rights, Dealing with Discrimination, and Interfacing with the System” (3-5pm, APICHA)
11/7** – EquAsian meeting with The Trevor Project, “Suicide Prevention” (5:30pm, APICHA)
11/16*** – Project Connect Workshop, “Herbal Care: Feeling Good, Feeling Great Through Flu Season” (7pm, APICHA)
11/26 & 11/27 – Thanksgiving Holidays (agency closed)
11/29 – World AIDS Day testing (Queens Museum of Art)
12/1 – World AIDS Day testing (APICHA)
12/5* – LGBTQ A&PI Youth Mentorship (GAYME), “Self and Body Image as LGBTQ A&PIs Traversing Mainstream LGBTQ and A&PI Communities” (3-5pm, APICHA)
12/5** – EquAsian meeting, World AIDS Week Movie Screening (5:30pm, APICHA)
12/7*** – Project Connect Workshop, “Queer Asian Spirituality” (7pm, APICHA)
12/25 – Winter Holiday (agency closed)
*Please email email@example.com to RSVP.
**Open to 24-and-under gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning A&PI men and their allies. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
***Please email email@example.com to RSVP.
A New Direction
by Mihaela Mihai, Clinic Manager
In August 2009, APICHA embarked on a new and exciting journey: extending its HIV Primary Care Services by providing gay-affirming primary care services for people who are at high-risk of getting infected with HIV. This expansion is a step forward in APICHA’s quest to create a world without HIV/AIDS by engaging in medical care a population living on the fringes of mainstream healthcare.
Always attuned to its community, APICHA’s staff and leadership saw with alarm the lack of healthcare services catering to the specific needs of Asian and Pacific Islander GBT population and decided it was time for a change. When the opportunity to compete for a capacity building grant came along, APICHA went for it and was awarded the much needed grant. These funds allowed APICHA to hire Nurse Practitioner Elizabeth Woodford who, under the tutelage of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Murayama, will deliver the truly needed primary medical care and comprehensive STD screening, evaluation, and treatment to an underserved population.
New Kids on the Block
by Diana Roygulchareon, Women & Youth Program Manager
This past summer, the Women & Youth Program recruited a fantastic new group of volunteer peer advocates and HIV prevention peer educators ready to stomp the pavement, get the word out about APICHA’s prevention programs, and give out safer sex materials. Women were recruited from the International Center of New York, and youth were recruited from South Asian Lesbian and Gay Alliance and New York University. Indicating the importance of the work, one peer educator stated, “I really want to help out my community because I know that we didn’t get education like this when I was in school or even from my doctor.” The program will be reaching out to at-risk groups, including women arrested for prostitution and those high school students newly arrived from countries in Asia.
A “Bridge” to Services
by Joseph Akima, Counseling, Testing & Referrals Project Manager
In August, a unique opportunity to conduct a testing event at the Two Bridges Community Center was arranged by APICHA’s Breaking Silence Coalition community partner, the Chinatown YMCA. Located in New York City’s Lower East Side, the Two Bridges Community Center is situated in a public housing complex that provides affordable housing to moderate and low-income families. At its annual “family day” event, a celebration bringing residents together on housing grounds, APICHA’s Counseling/Testing/Referrals unit (CTR) was able to partake in community festivities by providing Rapid HIV screenings.
The Two Bridges community addresses a unique perspective for HIV prevention. In this vicinity, there exists a multi-generational locality consisting of grandparents, parents, and their children within Asian, Latino, black, and white households. This is a community where social relations are valued, so risk reduction messages for HIV infection can have a long-standing and efficacious impact. Two Bridges is also located in an area where residents are predominantly uninsured or underinsured and have limited access to healthcare. The testing event served as a significant opportunity to not only get individuals who are at high-risk for HIV/ STI infection to access testing and know their HIV status but also to increase the individual’s perception of their own risk for HIV infection.
Strong partnerships ensure the strength and health of our communities. This event reinforces the important role that community organizers have in bringing marginalized groups into dialogue to educate individuals on how to protect themselves from contracting the HIV virus, if negative, and how to prevent transmitting the virus to other persons, if positive. These are the initials steps towards “Breaking the Silence.”
Emergency Home Visit Proves Critical
by Venus Vacharakitja, Associate Director of Client Services
When a client’s niece called in late August, the case manager didn’t know that, for the past week, the client had been drinking excessively, didn’t go to work, and didn’t eat. The client’s family was in a panic and didn’t know what to do. The case manager tried to talk to the client over the phone, but the client seemed incoherent. At that point, the case manager decided that an emergency home visit was necessary, so it was conducted within an hour of the phone call.
When the case manager arrived at the client’s house, the client was drinking heavily. Despite this, the client denied having alcohol issues and refused to enter rehabilitation. When the client started to decompensate, the case manager assisted the client to the emergency room to get treated. One of the physicians told the case manager that the client could have died from alcohol poisoning had they not taken the client to the hospital. The case manager’s sense of urgency had saved this client. The client has since been discharged and is currently enrolled in a rehabilitation program.
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm
HIV Testing Hours: M/T/Th/F: 10:30am-5:30pm, W: 1:30pm-7:30pm
Clinic Hours: M/T/F: 9:30am-5:30pm, W/Th: 9:30am-7pm
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ABOUT ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER COALITION ON HIV/AIDS, INC.
Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Inc. (APICHA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 located in New York City. APICHA’s mission is to combat HIV/AIDS stigma and related discrimination, to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities, and to provide care and treatment for A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS and their families. For more information, visit: www.apicha.org.