HIV Outreach Hits the Streets

Memphis, TN – We continue our series on HIV and we go to the streets with Project Hope to educate on the dangers and risk factors associated with HIV and prevention, as well as encourage testing.

Project Hope in South Memphis is a community-based organization that is under the umbrella of St. Andrews African Methodist Episcopal Church. They work the streets, schools and churches in the 38106 area, test people at health fairs and reach welfare recipients through the Sentinary Program at the Galloway Church in MidTown. Sometimes, they go to people's homes.

On a typical day, reaching out into the streets of South Memphis, dressed down and ready to educate. First, Dan Chatman makes sure he has all the necessary supplies: male and female condoms, business cards, and brochures to encourage testing and encourage non-risky behavior.

First, we got into Dan's car and headed down Mississippi Blvd, where met a woman walking the street. Dan stopped the car to talk with her about safer sex and using condoms.

As we head toward Freedom Road, Dan stops and offers condoms and HIV education to a man going into a barber shop. He tells Dan he'd like a peppermint condom. Freedom Road is located in a mostly vacant shopping center in South Memphis. Ruth Turner meets us outside, prior to going in.

However, even with many outreach mechanisms throughout the region, it's still not enough, says Vincent Glover, Manager of Infectious Disease at the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department. He says we need to use the media to efficiently and effectively deliver the message about HIV/AIDS prevention.