HIV Community Day
The Role of Families in Preventing and Adapting To HIV/AIDS
On August 11, the day before the association’s 2010 Annual Convention, APA co-sponsored a HIV Community Day Conference in San Diego to raise awareness about how HIV/AIDS problems could be addressed through new evidence-based approaches of mobilizing families to prevent and adapt to HIV/AIDS. Over 200 front-line providers, prevention scientists, researchers, and community leaders gathered to discuss ways of transferring evidence-based family prevention programs to curb the spread of the disease in San Diego. The event focused in particular on establishing collaborative partnerships among family-oriented researchers, HIV prevention service providers, and leaders from affected communities in the local area.
The HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (HNRC) at the University of California – San Diego (UCSD), in partnership with APA and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the American Psychological Association (APA), the Jewish Family Service of San Diego, Christie’s Place, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), and the UCSD Mother, Child & Adolescent Program are proud to host a one-day community forum on the role of families in preventing and adapting to HIV/AIDS.
San Diego Community Day
The conference provided an important venue for clinical education and the transference of new technique and/or evidence based family prevention programs to HIV/AIDS researchers, physicians, and community-based service providers. Participants had the opportunity to exchange information, views and experience and network in diverse multidisciplinary setting. APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, welcomed participants and remarked that “in many ways the HIV/AIDS Community Day Conference represents the best of APA and psychology because it is all about the practical application of psychological science for the benefit of community health.
Liz Brosnan (Christie’s Place) chaired the meeting. Greetings and remarks were shared by San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria, Katherine Fortner (Congresswoman Susan Davis), and Terry Cunningham (San Diego County Health and Human Services). Dr. Ellen Stover, Director, Division of AIDS Research (NIMH) also provided remarks. Ron Roberts, San Diego County Supervisor, received an award for his steadfast effort to reduce stigma, prevent the further spread of HIV, and champion the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS, which have benefited the citizens of San Diego and beyond.
Conference sessions and interactive workshops involving both national and local experts addressed numerous local problems associated with HIV testing, adherence to medication regimens, prevention efforts in border communities, and stigma. Of particular interest was data about numbers of African Americans that are infected with HIV/AIDS. Several workshops were translated into Spanish. Conference agenda, presentation/workshop abstracts, speakers and planning committee bios (PDF, 335KB).
Though the San Diego community faces many barriers in its quest to improve HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment, the conference gave attendees a sense of hope and renewed energy. Attendees stated the conference provided “a plethora of knowledge in all aspects as well as much needed information and suggestions as to how to help strengthen the family structure in regards to HIV/AIDS”, “community members the chance to voice needs and clarify issues”, and “collaboration of gate keepers, speakers, workshops, new facts and strategies to use for prevention”.
"This conference provided a relaxed and inclusive forum for exchanging ideas about how San Diego can engage its families in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said John Anderson, PhD, Director of APA’s Office on AIDS. "And hopefully this exchange will go a long way to building new family-based approaches to curbing the spread of the disease."
Background and History
In recent years, researchers and health professionals have increasingly recognized the importance of the family in health promotion and disease prevention (PDF, 30KB). The 2009 Toronto Community Day held during last year’s APA Convention focused on this theme.