Online MPH Social and Behavioral Sciences student Abigail Goerk is partnering with the CARE for AIDS organization. This organization’s mission is to assist and empower individuals living with HIV/AIDS into four distinct phases shown below. When CARE for AIDS opens a community center, they are committing to that community to strengthen the individuals, their families, neighboring churches and the community as a whole.
PHASE 1: OUTREACH
During phase one, CARE for AIDS staff will listen to community stakeholders in order to design and implement HIV education and testing services. This phase serves as a recruitment mechanism as well as an opportunity to reduce HIV-related stigma.
PHASE 2: ORPHAN PREVENTION
Phase two is when the CARE for AIDS team works directly with HIV+ clients. After forming partnerships and providing HIV education and testing in a community, we officially launch a CARE for AIDS center in that community. Each center is located within a local church, which is local, cost-effective, and discreet for our clients. Each center has two local counselors who guide 80 HIV+ clients through a nine-month process. Throughout the nine months, we work to empower clients in five main areas: spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and economically. During phase two, we focus on serving clients who are most at risk of premature death.
PHASE 3: OPEN RECRUITMENT
Phase three is operationally similar to phase two, but it is open to any client who is HIV+ regardless of their physical health status.
PHASE 4: ONGOING SUSTAINABILITY
Phase four is an opportunity to invest further in our partner church and former clients. This phase also allows us to create greater sustainability in communities after CARE for AIDS leaves.