Harlem United

Health Reform and Reducing Disparities: Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS

December 3, 2010, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Presentation by Sara Gillen, Harlem United Community AIDS Center

State legislators, primarily from CSG’s Eastern Regional Conference states, attended a 4-hour session to learn more about health reform and state policies can reduce health disparities related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS.

Participants heard from national experts about how federal and state health reforms can help reduce health disparities. Speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health, and medical and community services providers gave background information on the epidemic of STDs/HIV and how state legislators can tackle these issues in their states and communities. Legislators from Utah and Rhode Island presented how they were able to gain passage of bills in their states to broaden prevention efforts and establish expedited partner therapy for STDs, and other legislators contributed their similar experiences from other states. Finally, legislators considered a list of the policy initiatives discussed, and indicated those they expect to pursue during the 2011-2012 legislative sessions.  

The meeting session was made possible through funding from the CDC’s HIV prevention program and STD prevention program and was presented in cooperation with the Partnership for Prevention’s National Chlamydia Coalition.

Sara Gillen, Vice President for Prevention, Harlem United Community AIDS Center,

New York, NY


Harlem United Community AIDS Center provides comprehensive HIV care, prevention and housing to clients regardless of race, socio-economic status or sexual orientation, reaching 10,000 people each year through innovative programs in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Harlem United has become a national model of comprehensive care in a community-based setting. Ms. Gillen has developed, implemented, and evaluated innovative HIV prevention programs including peer education training, substance abuse and harm reduction services for HIV-infected persons, and community-based outreach and prevention education for diverse groups. She has developed programs for groups ranging from Spanish-speaking women in East Harlem to substance users in single room occupancy hotels citywide, and she also conceived a prevention program for youth known as HOME (Helping Our Men Evolve). contact: sgillen@harlemunited.org