Letter from the Director | Oct. 2014
by Jacon Smith Yang, Senior Capacity Building Director
Now is an exciting time to work in HIV. Advances in science and data are changing the way HIV prevention and care are conceptualized and implemented, in ways we could not have imagined when I started working in HIV in 1991. But scarce resources mean that health departments and community-based organizations are therefore facing challenging choices and trade-offs. These include targeting resources to higher risk populations, shifting away from longtime programming approaches, and managing corresponding change within an organization. These challenges can be daunting.
In the face of these challenges, Capacity for Health (C4H) is gratified to continue to offer high quality capacity building assistance. We recently expanded our team to 10 staff, the largest we have had to date! This deep capacity building bench creates better coverage across the many areas of concern for HIV programs, as well as more intensive engagement with our organizational clients.
As C4H staff heads to the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) in San Diego this week, we are excited and energized—looking forward to reacquainting with folks we know and meeting new partners in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. These opportunities to come together in HIV work are rarer and rarer; scare resources also mean not everyone can even attend USCA. So we aim to talk with as many of you as we can. If you are at USCA please seek us out—attend our sessions, stop by our booth, even get an onsite CBA consultation!
Tracey Ponder, Deputy Branch Chief of the CDC, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Capacity Building Branch, recently shared a Henry Ford quote that reflects the CBA client-provider relationship:
“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Whether or not we see you at USCA, we look forward to our future work with you for success.
Behavior Intervention Spotlight: Self-Help in Eliminating Life-threatening Diseases Intervention
by Nickie Bazell, Capacity Building Director
Capacity for Health is funded by the CDC to provide training and capacity building assistance on the Self-Help in Eliminating Life-threatening Diseases (SHIELD ) intervention. Having trained organizations across the country to implement SHIELD, C4H staff have often heard from participants that SHIELD is easy and fun to implement in their community. But why?
What is the SHIELD intervention?
A group level intervention, SHIELD trains current and former drug users to be Peer Educators who learn strategies to reduce their own HIV risk associated with drug use and sex behavior and gain communication skills to share HIV prevention information with people in their social networks (e.g., friends, family, and sex partners, etc.). A low-cost intervention, SHIELD requires few technology resources and nominal space, which allows for implementation with minimal budget, staff, and facility size. SHIELD is delivered through 6 small group sessions which can be held in a community-based setting (e.g., community center, health clinic). C4H recently trained providers who are collaborating with one another to implement the SHIELD intervention in a prison setting.
How is the SHIELD intervention used?
Although SHIELD is often implemented with injection drug users, and specifically includes resources for reducing HIV risk related to injection drug use, SHIELD is not limited to working with current or former injection drug users. SHIELD was initially designed for adults (18 years and older) and can be implemented with HIV positive or negative men and women.
While the SHIELD intervention focuses on reducing HIV risk, organizations implementing SHIELD often adapt the intervention to include Hepatitis information and/or optional booster sessions on Hepatitis or other diseases and topics such as domestic violence, overdose prevention, etc.
Need help? Want more information?
Need help recruiting and retaining participants? Need help adapting the intervention for your specific populations? Need help monitoring and evaluating SHIELD? Want to connect with other organizations like yours implementing SHIELD?
If your organization is interested in learning more about SHIELD, C4H can share information and resources and help to assess whether your agency is a good fit to implement this intervention. If your organization is currently implementing SHIELD, C4H can provide free capacity building assistance on implementing and adapting the SHIELD intervention.
To learn more about SHIELD or to access free capacity building assistance contact:
Capacity Building Manager Nickie Bazell
C4H is also funded by the CDC to provide training and capacity building assistance on ARTAS, Mpowerment, Popular Opinion Leader, and Focus on Youth (FOY) interventions, as well as Fundamentals of HIV Prevention Counseling.