For those who do not know much about GCMC, we decided to take a moment to talk about the program. The Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center was created in order to give YMSM (young men who have sex with men) of color a place where they can go to be empowered. While testing is one of the main focal points of our center, we are about empowering the whole person. We offer on-site counseling for those who are HIV positive or high risk negative and we also have a social aspect of our program called Mpworment. Within Mpowerment we have what’s called B.R.I.D.G.E.S (A Brotherhood of Realistic Individuals who are Diverse and Genuine and are Empowered to become Self-actualized) which is the core group. Our core group is made up of 12 young men who are the decision making body of the program. They plan events, conduct outreach, condom raids, and educate their peers about safer sex practices. We at GCMC also believe in offering the community other resources. When you walk into our center you will find job postings, be able to relax in our reflection lounge, have access to computers, and more. Here at GCMC we understand that in order for us to get to zero new HIV infections we must address the many barriers that young men of color between the ages of 13-29 face today such as lack support, awareness, socio-economic factors and more. So feel free to either stop into our center or contact us for more information. See you soon!!!!
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was first observed on February 7th of 1999. Its purpose was to educate and bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic within the African American community. It is vital that we continue with this purpose especially when it comes to African American men of color who are MSM (men who have sex with men). Young Black MSM are severely affected and now account for more new infections (4,800 in 2010) than any other subgroup by race/ethnicity, age, and sex. There are many reasons as to why the numbers are so high in this community.
Some of it is due to stigma (fear of disclosing risk behavior or sexual orientation may prevent young MSM of color to seek testing, treatment and other services), socioeconomic factors (high levels of poverty, racial discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, and higher rates of incarceration), and complacency and decreased worry about HIV in the general population. These are all barriers that we should all be fighting to breakdown, each of us have a role in the fight against HIV/AIDS in our communities. We must be willing to set aside our differences and move towards the goal of no new HIV infections. We encourage everyone to join the fight by either educating themselves or someone else. For more information please contact the Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center on our website or by phone at 614-926-4132.
Today, October 11 is National Coming Out Day, join the National Minority AIDS Council, The Stigma Project and the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) and GCMC as we… Read More