We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the partners who helped us including: Project HIM’s staff, interns, street team, models, volunteers, advisory committee members, contractors, The Saddle, The Garden, Buddies, Le Boi, Lime Lounge, Pride Sports League, Titans of the Midwest, Liberty Gifts, Iowa Safe Schools, One Iowa and Iowa Pride Network, Iowa State University, Grinnell College, Drake University, Iowa Department of Public Health, Polk County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
WHAT DID PROJECT HIM ACCOMPLISHED?
Facts and Figures
- January 2011 through December 2014, a total of 1,278 HIV tests were conducted with an average positivity rate of 1.6%, an average increase of approximately 20% per year during the project period
- Online outreach yielded 27,000 web site users, 17,500 engaged users via Facebook, and a total of 9,300 role model video views by the target population
- Brief surveys conducted at annual Pride events showed that HIV testing every 3-6 months became more common over the project period (statistically significant increase in self-reported HIV testing)
- Expanded services to include comprehensive STI screenings and PrEP consultation
- Underwent a successful merger of the AIDS Project of Central Iowa into Primary Health Care in order to provide a full continuum of HIV prevention and care services
- Helped start the Pride Sports League, now a 501(c)3 LGBT sports organization
THOUGHTS FROM THE COMMUNITY
“Project HIM introduced me to the many aspects of the gay community. The CLEAR program helped me to understand that I didn’t need to necessarily feel like I fit in with the gay community to be a part of it…. Project HIM is woven through the many branches of the gay community …”
“It is sad that Project HIM is ending. It is a valuable resource to the community. We hope that The Project would continue the program in one form or another. When people talk about getting tested, they think about Project HIM, not The Project. The name has a lot of value in it.”
“…when it first started and had the right people behind it that it was very successful and almost became a ’brand name’ in Des Moines. The campaigns were fun, sexy, and attention grabbing.”
“In Des Moines, people are now very open to talking about their status and getting tested. Project HIM has made it ‘cool’ to get tested because they have the right people delivering the message. It is a testament to their ability to be innovative and the general likability of their staff and peer advocates.”
“Project HIM isn’t just about physical health, Project HIM also helped support feeling good about being gay/bisexual in general.”
“Out of this project came positive role models and community leaders, healthy social norms, culturally relevant communication tools, a reduced community viral load, and new prevention tools, such as PrEP. All of these outcomes will continue to positively influence our community beyond the official end of the program”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Project HIM will continue the work in various ways which include:
- A continued focus on HIV and STI testing among gay and bisexual men
- Increasing PrEP awareness and access to PrEP at Primary Health Care
- More initiatives for people living with HIV like CLEAR, Partnership for Health, and treatment as prevention that reduce risk of HIV transmission. Research shows that these strategies significantly reduce new HIV infections.
Thanks for all you’ve done to make Project HIM a success! We all should be very proud of what we’ve accomplished together. We appreciate your continued support of HIV prevention in central Iowa as we move forward and remain committed to ending new HIV infections.
Your Project HIM Team