Faith Based Community
Since 2009, the JACQUES Initiative has partnered with organizations and faith-based institutions across the city to engage the community in HIV testing and linkage to care. Volunteers are the cornerstone of this work.
What has been achieved?
Mobilizing the community for HIV testing/linkage to care has been an effective strategy to identify and (re)link individuals newly diagnosed and “out of care” to HIV services.
HIV testing has been provided to thousands of people in Baltimore. The prevalence of HIV in the population tested is almost 4% between new and previously diagnosed positives. Linkage to care has been assured to two-thirds of new positives and previous positives not currently engaged in care.
Volunteers include clients of the JACQUES Initiative, students, housewives, professionals and members of the faith-based community from Baltimore city as well as outside of the city. Volunteers’ roles include HIV testing, education, providing psychosocial and spiritual support, distributing snacks and logistics and coordination for testing.
Services rendered, in addition to testing and linkage to care, include linkage to wrap-around services such as housing, substance abuse rehabilitation, HIV education, case management and interaction with people living well with HIV. Substance abuse and other psychosocial issues are a dominant “theme” in the community -- this program addresses these issues, which maximizes a client’s chances to seek HIV care.
The JACQUES Initiative de-stigmatizes HIV by bringing people from various backgrounds together to dialogue about HIV.
To find a faith-based HIV testing site, please see Upcoming Community Events.