Date

6-2015

Degree Name

BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies

Department

Ethnic Studies Department

Advisor(s)

Grace Yeh

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to alleviate stigma from the HIV community in San Luis Obispo, CA by creating an outreach program, “Know Your Status,” that raises awareness of HIV education and prevention. Research on HIV stigma and on ideologies for program development and implementation shows that HIV positive individuals face both internalized and externalized stigma. Program development and implementation can be effective by assessing and addressing the specific needs of those living within the community. This project includes the data needed for program development and implementation, collected through anonymous surveys from HIV positive community members, interviews with professionals in the field of HIV health services, and my volunteer service at the AIDS Support Network. Compelling insights from this fieldwork research as well as from the “Know Your Status” event feedback lead to the conclusion that alleviating stigma would be most effective through education of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and by providing the community with compelling responses and messages from HIV positive community members. It is my hope that this project be used for future implementation of outreach events to educate the community and normalize the conversation in regards to HIV, thus alleviating stigma from the HIV community.