Imagine Not Knowing … that there are 1.2 million people in the United States that are living with HIV.
Imagine Not Knowing …that 1 in 8 people living with HIV do not know their status.
Imagine Not Knowing…that YOU can make a difference in these numbers.
Project INK, or “Project: Imagine Not Knowing…” is a comprehensive HIV prevention program designed to educate, and provide access to care for the community. Project INK strives to enable the community through opportunities to receive testing, counseling, linkage to care services, and other resources for health. We use a peer advocacy strategy, in which community members are empowered to take charge of their status, their lives, and their health by sharing “role model stories”. These stories are disbursed through members of the focus community that we serve and through our various pages. Our specific focus is on testing men who have sex with other men between the ages of 17-39, as this community has the highest rates of HIV transmission disparities throughout the nation.
Project INK is a CDC funded and evidence-based program, which means these strategies have been proven to improve health outcomes for those who are HIV negative by increasing testing, linking to PrEP (the once daily pill that is over 90% effective at preventing HIV transmission), and has been proven to have positive, powerful impacts for those living with HIV by linking them to care, and increasing medical adherence.
Our program is just one of many avenues that people in Columbus can navigate to learn more about HIV and advocate for their health, and the health of those around them. Programs like this, make the end of HIV a foreseeable and realistic goal. However, in order to end HIV transmission we must continue to advocate for those who are living with HIV and continue to provide education and preventative measures to those most at risk. Even if you find yourself outside of the “high –risk” population there are still ways to support the movement; learning about HIV and HIV transmission helps reduce stigma, which plays a large part in the way our society interacts with HIV, and ending the stigma surrounding the virus plays an essential part in us finding a cure.
If you couldn’t “Imagine Not Knowing… the feeling of making a difference,” then help support Project INK. Showing support can be as simple as liking us on Facebook and Instagram. Or if you or anyone you know are interested in getting involved then email: email@example.com for more information.