College campuses have the highest rates of HIV and HIV transmissions and are the perfect place prime spots to share information and education regarding the topic.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched the My Body, My Health campaign on June 22. Now, over a month later, the campaign has expanded with the creation of Generate. 

“There is no question that the next generation of health activists will have a powerful role to play in putting an end to the HIV epidemic and boosting positivity around prevention and treatment measures,” says Alphonso David, President of HRC. “Marginalized people disproportionately bear the brunt of social and economic inequities that fuel HIV stigma and discrimination.”

The goal of Generate is to spark a conversation between one LGBTQ-identified Black or LatinX and another, creating a system of role models for those in danger of contracting HIV or those living with HIV. With the collaborative efforts of Gilead Sciences, one of California’s top biopharmaceutical companies, the Human Rights Campaign has been able to study the correlation between Black, Indigenous and other people of color and their sexual health. 

Through this research, HRC found that one of the primary factors in each of these cases is the limitation to adequate healthcare. Us Helping Us, an organization dedicated to finding holistic solutions to HIV/AIDS, partnered with HRC as well, allowing interested parties to have an in-home STD/HIV testing kit delivered to their front doorsteps. 

Within the My Body, My Health campaign, the HRC has created an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Sexual Health Directory. This links university students to healthcare professionals and services both on and around campus. Using a “find your school” search engine, prospective students may also see what contraceptives, testing or telemedicine is offered in over fifty colleges. 

Some of the North Carolina-based universities include Bennett College, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, St. Augustine’s College, Winston-Salem State University and Shaw University. The goal with Generate is similar: to find advocates in college campuses to spread sexual health information to their peers. 

Sign-ups for the program will continue through August 19, for those interested, go to bit.ly/3CAaQEx

Facilitators urge applicants to keep in mind that advocates must be between 18 and 24 years of age, have access to technology that allows virtual training for webinar participation, willing to share personal HIV-related stories, of Black or LatinX heritage and fully vaccinated. 

Each fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend but will not receive hourly wages. Only fifteen individuals will be selected for Generate in 2021. To pose any questions or concerns, contact HRC’s Associate Director of HIV and Health Equity Vanessa Castro at vanessa.castro@hrc.org

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