Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services
2638 Two Notch Road, Suite 108
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone: (803) 779-7257
Fax: (803) 779-1473
Title: Community Promise
Project Director: Carmen Hampton Julious
Target Population: Black/African American
Age Group: Adults
The Community Promise project is a community-level STD/HIV prevention intervention that relies on the outreach work of peer advocates from the target community to deliver role model stories to members of the target population. The project is a collaborative effort between Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition and Richland Community Health Care Association. The project targets African-American males, including men who have sex with men (MSM), and MSM who do not identify as gay or bisexual, who reside in Richland and Lexington counties.
Specific objectives of the project are to: mobilize a community partnership including non-traditional partners to improve the health of low income African American men, including men who have sex with men; increase access to health care services by lowering cultural and linguistic barriers to care; increase knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS in the target population; and change behavior and service utilization among the target population. The project has four core elements: community identification process, role model stories, peer advocates, and evaluation. Activities include development of intervention and program resources with stakeholders; networking with other agencies and community organizations to avoid duplicating efforts; and forming an advisory board to foster community commitment to the project. Role model stories are the heart of printed materials distributed throughout the community. Recruiting, screening, and interviewing community members who have made behavioral changes to avoid HIV and their safer sex decisions is the basis for the role model stories. Peer advocates will be recruited and trained on program goals and HIV/AIDS. The Peer Advocates conduct outreach, distribute role model stories, condoms, lubricants, bleach kits, and risk-reduction supplies to 10 to 20 peers each week. The Peer Advocates recruit peers into counseling, testing, referral services, as well as other prevention and treatment services. Local business owners are recruited to participate by providing access to posted HIV/AIDS prevention and referral information, and to act as distribution points for information products and condom drops.