Get Loud Louisiana is our Statewide Ending the Epidemic Plan. Many community leaders across the United States are calling for an end to the HIV epidemic in their cities, their counties, and their states through the development of Ending the Epidemic (EtE) plans. We now have the tools to effectively do just that— from PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which allows people to remain HIV-negative and much-improved medications that allow people living with HIV to enjoy the same life expectancy as people without, to proof that Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) allows PLWH to prevent the transmission of HIV to intimate partners. We are in a position to implement ambitious and bold strategies to improve health outcomes for all people living with and vulnerable to HIV, reducing its impact and bringing new infections below epidemic levels.
We thought a lot about what we want our 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, Hep C, and sexual health. We want to break down the stigma and misconceptions that surround HIV, Hep C and STIs. 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 Maw-maw’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 and to the work. 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.
This is the perfect time to join us! In December, we released our EtE plan, and now we are really getting to work! We have several new subcommittees to help us begin implementing the strategies we included in the plan, and we would love some fresh voices to help us stay on track. Our current subcommittees include:
- Access to Care and Smaller Cities
This committee will oversee activities outlined in the Access to Care and Supportive Services and Smaller Cities and Rural Communities sections of the Get Loud Louisiana work plan – including improving access and linkage to care and other support services (including mental health care, treatment for substance abuse, housing and transportation assistance, case management, etc.) that facilitate retention in care and greater health and wellbeing for PLWH. They will pay special attention to the unique needs of those living outside of larger cities and how strategies and activities required to address prevention, education, support PLWH and access to services may differ from those utilized in more metropolitan areas.
- Coalition Building and Advocacy
This committee will focus on outreach and relationship building with non-traditional partners, building a larger movement, and working with partners toward common goals including advocacy efforts, legislative campaigns, etc.
- Monitoring and Evaluation
This committee will track progress on implementation of activities and progress on meeting our objectives, review and analyze data (as needed), support preparation of information to be shared back to the community, and will support grant/funding opportunity tracking. (Funding opportunities will be directed to partners identified to implement projects to apply for funds.)
- Public Relations and Marketing
This committee will focus on the marketing of our plan, as well as the development of media campaigns and communications outlined in the plan for diverse audiences ranging from community groups and non-traditional partners to providers and media contacts.
We are also looking to fill some seats on our Core Team! For all committees, we are looking for community members with a range of backgrounds and lived experience with representation from around the state. You do not need to work in public health or have experience with planning efforts. If you are interested or would like more information on our committees – please complete the Subcommittee Sign-Up Survey or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org