It’s time to Get Loud, Louisiana!
What is Ending the Epidemic?
Many community leaders across the United States are calling for an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their cities, their counties, and their states through the development of Ending the Epidemic (EHE) plans. We now have the tools to effectively do just that – by creating ambitious and bold plans to improve health outcomes for all people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, reducing its impact and bringing new infections below epidemic levels. Women With A Vision and the Louisiana Department of Public Health are excited to be spearheading the EHE work in Louisiana.
The State of HIV in Louisiana
As of September 30, 2019, a total of 22,319 persons were living with HIV (PLWH) in Louisiana; of these individuals, 11,191 persons (50%) have an AIDS diagnosis. In 2018, 980 new HIV cases were diagnosed in Louisiana.
In 2018, Louisiana ranked 4th in the nation for HIV and AIDS case rates (21.2 per 100,000 and 9.1 per 100,000 population, respectively) and 11th and 12th in the number of estimated HIV and AIDS cases, respectively.
Rates of other sexually transmitted infections also remain high in Louisiana. In 2018, Louisiana ranked 2nd in chlamydia case rates, 5th for gonorrhea, and 7th for syphilis. While estimating the number of people living with Hepatitis C (HCV) is a challenge due to historically low rates of testing, it is probable that there are close to 50,000 in Louisiana living with HCV.
Why are we “Getting Loud”?
We thought a lot about what we want this plan to accomplish, and about what ties us together.
First, we see this as an opportunity to do something different! We want to step out of the box to create something truly bold and innovative. We want to start talking more about HIV, STIs, Hepatitis C, and sexual health. We want to break down the stigma and misconceptions that surround HIV, Hepatitis C and sexually transmitted infections. We want to lift up the voices of those who are living with HIV and those who are impacted – and make sure they are the ones leading the way forward.
Second, we thought about what brings us together as a state – and what do Louisianans love more than anything (except maybe Mawmaw’s gumbo)? MUSIC. Whether it’s Jazz, Bounce, Zydeco, Blues, or Country – when it starts playing, we can’t help but get up and move! That is the kind of excitement we want to bring to this plan. We want to bring people in, demonstrate what we all have in common, celebrate what makes us different, and work together to find solutions so that we can all lead healthy, full lives. We aren’t going to end the epidemics unless we do it together.
Statewide Ending the Epidemics Efforts
Our Ending the Epidemic team is working with people across the state including community members, health providers, public health agencies, and community-based organizations to develop recommendations and goals that reflect the needs of People Living With HIV (PLWH) and those in affected communities. Our plan will serve as a model to be shared across the state of Louisiana.
Over the past year, we have held Front Porch Talks, or community conversations, in 6 cities across the state with over 140 community members. Since then, our committees have been working to turn those conversations into our action plan.
How can you get involved?
We have committed to working with the community every step of the way and now we would like your help as we move into the next stage of the process! Whether you have participated in the planning process before or if this is new to you, we want to know if you think we are on the right track.
You are invited to submit feedback online through our Feedback Form and during our upcoming Virtual Town Hall meetings.
Register for one of our virtual events here!
May 28, 2020, 5:30-7:30pm
June 2, 2020, 12:00-2:00pm
Let us know what you love, what you don’t like, and what is missing from our draft. We will review all of your feedback and take it into thoughtful consideration as we make changes to finalize our plan. If you have a great idea or a concern that hasn’t been addressed – We’d love to hear it!
Sign up for email updates! Email email@example.com!
If you have any questions or would like to get more involved as we move forward in the process, please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 504-301-0428
Get Loud! Goals
Goal 1: Eliminate Stigma
Goal 2: Ensure Universal Access to Prevention Tools
Goal 3: Ensure Universal Access to Health and Community Resources
Goal 4: Improve Social Justice to Eliminate Health & Social Inequities
Goal 5: Achieve a More Coordinated Response to Ending the Epidemics
Get Loud! Guiding Principles
People Living With HIV-Centered