Community Outreach Connectors
The Strilite Foundation and Arkansas RAPPS closes gaps in access to care, coverage, counseling, and sexual health wellness throughout Arkansas.
Mr. Jones uses social media to share sexual health messaging, access to care, and connect Arkansans to free HIV testing. He serves as the Social Media Specialist for Arkansas RAPPS.
Affectionately known as the “Condom Lady,” Mrs. Roebuck leads training at local schools, civic and faith-based organizations, and provides HIV screenings, access to care, and counseling services.
Reaching out to people living with HIV with an emphasis on the same-gender-loving men, Mr. love specializes in capacity building, assessment, and community mobilization to decrease new HIV infections.
Michael facilitates the Positive Living meetings, which are centered on individuals who are dealing with HIV or whose lives have been affected by the virus. He has also been a host to the Positive Living retreat, which provides a safe place to share without judgment and engage in strategies for building better heath and productive lifestyles.
Tien provides Prismatic Health Arkansas (PSA) services for harm reduction and health and wellness support throughout the transgender community and beyond. The mission and vision of PSA services is “Activist. Advocate. Artist. Alchemist.”
Women and HIV
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is observed annually on March 10 to highlight the importance of women and girls. The event encourages women to take action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV through prevention, testing, and treatment.
NWGHAAD raises awareness about the need for all women to be tested and treated for HIV and demonstrates that “The Best Defense Is a Good Offense.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 280,000 women aged 13 and older are living with HIV in the US, and more than 60% of women diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were African American.
The facts are clear: all women are at risk for HIV, but women of color are disproportionately affected. The following are the lifetime risks of infection in the US:
- Black women: 1 in 48
- Hispanic women: 1 in 227
- White women: 1 in 880
Addressing this disparity requires a collective response.
HIV among women has reduced in recent years. From 2010 to 2014, new HIV diagnoses declined 20% among all women and even more (24%) among black women.
It is important to note these statistics do not include transgender women, who are at greatest risk of HIV/AIDS infection. Too often transgender women are misgendered as men who have sex with men, which renders us without a complete picture of the disproportionate impact of HIV. We are determined to change data-collection processes to ensure our transgender community in Arkansas receives the resources and attention needed to fight HIV/AIDS.
HIV Risk-Reduction Tool
Are you at risk of HIV infection? This resource makes it possible to check your risk factors.
To understand your risk of HIV infection, learn the basic facts about HIV, transmission to someone else, and how to remain healthy. There are many factors involved in either lowering or raising your chances of infection. Being accurately informed empowers you to take charge of your health and well-being.
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Facts
There’s so much to know about STIs. Knowledge is power when it comes to keeping you and your partner healthy and safe.
Criminalization of HIV legitimizes the ignorance, homophobia, racism, and sex-phobia that fuels inflated fears of HIV and those who have HIV. Criminalization undermines efforts to prevent new HIV infections and increases stigma. HIV criminal laws have little or counter-productive effects on MSM’s risk behavior. We proclaim, “Prevention, Not Prosecution!”
HIV Criminalization is the prosecution and imprisonment of people living with HIV (PLWH) for things that either are
perfectly legal, such as consensual sex, or are minor crimes, like fighting with someone. PLWH are treated like felons. HIV criminalization ignores the medical facts about the routes, risk, and current realities of HIV transmission and care. This injustice ignores the foundation’s of our justice system.
Arkansas, along with 32 other states and two US territories, have HIV-specific criminal statutes, and 36 states have reported proceedings in which HIV-positive people have been arrested and prosecuted for consensual sex, biting, and spitting. At least 180 such prosecutions occurred from 2008 to 2013 alone. We believe these laws are now outdated and not based on current science. We are committed to educating our community on how to end government reliance on an individual’s positive HIV test result as proof of intent to harm. HIV criminalization is the basis for irrationally severe treatment in the criminal justice system. We continue to engage in federal and state policy advocacy, increase access to resources for HIV-positive residents, support legal action to support HIV-positive people facing criminal charges. Additionally, we educate, organize, and mobilize communities and policymakers statewide.
Medical Marijuana in Arkansas
Arkansas RAPPS and The Strilite Foundation are laser-focused on the cutting edge of the anticipation of the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Arkansas. It is our position to assure our supporters get access to the most current updates and information.
As of August 26, 2019, there are 19,227 individuals who have been approved to receive medical cannabis patient cards. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has confirmed that client information is HIPAA-protected and will not be shared with anyone or verify that you are on the list. Arkansas police can only confirm that you have a valid card and do not have access to any additional information.