Since 1997, Menominee Tribal Clinic (MTC) has honored members of Menominee Nation with HIV who have died. The Wall of Moccasins recognizes tribal members who no longer “walk on this earth” with a pair of handmade, empty moccasins.
The clinic uses the traditional Native artwork and visual impact of the Wall of Moccasins to humanize those who lived with HIV and have since died, to break down HIV stereotypes, and to use as a teaching tool within their rural Native community. Identifying empty moccasins as a symbol of their loss enables the tribe to reduce stigma and inform the community about HIV in a culturally sensitive manner. This art display is a powerful visual reminder, and serves as a call to action for the Native community to look beyond the stigmatized categories that cling to the popular image of HIV. The Wall of Moccasins promotes a new prevention model for other tribes to integrate into their current AIDS awareness programming.
What can you do to stop HIV stigma?
March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to address the impact of HIV on Native peoples. HIV stigma can keep people from getting tested and treated for HIV. Together, we can help stop HIV by reducing stigma and promoting prevention, testing and treatment in Native communities. Check out this stigma language guide and learn more about the impact of HIV on Native populations. Let’s stop HIV stigma and work towards ending the HIV epidemic. #NNHAAD #EHE
Melissa White (she/her), RN, is a community health nurse and HIV tribal coordinator at Menominee Tribal Clinic in Keshena, WI. She is an enrolled member of Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and is married to a member of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. In her role, she quickly learned that building a trusting relationship is critical to reducing stigma and meeting people where they are at in their process of preventing or being diagnosed with HIV. To support healthy living, she says that going the extra mile for someone, such as delivering their HIV medications drawing labs, transporting to appointments, conducting regular check-ins, and sharing new updates on HIV helps them understand that their health, their life, and the health of the community matters. Melissa suggests taking the time to actively listen to patients for what matters to them supports culturally responsive care and building trust.
UIHI Releases Guidelines, Tools & Resources to Educate Native Communities About HIV Stigma and Prevention Strategies
The public health response to COVID-19 has hindered access to some aspects of medical care and essential services and healthcare workers and clinics have been forced to adjust how they provide necessary services to patients. For urban Indian and tribal clinics, that means learning how to continue to inform their communities about HIV prevention and address HIV stigma in a variety of ways. Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) recently released guidelines, posters and social media toolkits, providing busy clinicians and community health care teams with culturally-attuned education materials to talk about HIV/AIDS in Native communities —
In response to the ongoing opioid crisis, the Opioid Response Network (ORN) works to provide technical assistance to community organizations and clinical practices. Since the pandemic-related lockdown, data confirms sharp increases in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and non-prescribed fentanyl use. During this worsening crisis, the ORN continues to provide knowledge, training, and educational resources around the prevention, treatment and recovery of opioid use disorder.
In their December issue, the Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network looked at the how COVID-19 has played a role in the worsening opioid crisis. Drug-related overdoses jumped 42 percent in May 2020 alone. According to the article, the pandemic may have contributed to these increases in many ways from quarantine-related psychological distress, to weakened support systems, to impaired delivery of essential services for people who inject drugs. To combat issues such as these, the ORN provides evidence-based clinical practices, trainings, and educational resources on topics such as: expanding access to treatment through telehealth, expanding recovery support in rural areas, the importance of training family members about the use of naloxone, and more. Learn more about how the ORN can support your organization, or how to submit a request for technical assistance.
- Wisconsin DHS continues to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. Learn more about the WI DHS COVID Vaccine Rollout Plan and who is eligible for a COVID vaccine in Wisconsin.
- WI DHS’s Map of COVID-19 Vaccine Providers helps Wisconsinites find and connect with vaccine providers in their area.
- Urban Indian Health Institute’s (UIHI) “Data Genocide of American Indians and Alaskan Natives in COVID-19 Data” report. The report highlights the impacts of poor COVID-19 racial data collection and reporting practices and provides recommendations to address them.
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) “Conversation Guide to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake” for talking to patients about their concerns.
- CDC’s “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People” outlines continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as more people are vaccinated.
- HIV.gov’s “Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and People with HIV” outlines special considerations regarding COVID-19 for people with HIV.
- AETC NCRC’s Prescribing PrEP: A Guide for Healthcare Providers Pocket Guide has been updated to reflect new treatment recommendations, including generic TDF/FTC.
- CDC’s “Toolkit for Providing HIV Prevention Services to Transgender Women of Color” supports HIV prevention services for transgender women of color.
PrEP-aring Native Communities
Friday, March 19, 2021
Hosted by MATEC-Kansas/Nebraska and the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita
Post-COVID Syndrome: An Overview and Approach to Management
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
12:00 (noon)-1:30PM CST
Hosted by AIDS Training & Education Center
Finding a Reason to Live: The Etiology of Suicide, Prevention and Evidence-Based Interventions
May 12 and 19, 2021
9:00AM-12:00 (noon) PM CST
SAVE THE DATE!
Check out our events page for updates
Injectable Antiretroviral Treatment
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Hosted by MATEC-Indiana and the Indiana University School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases
2021 Wisconsin PrEP Navigation and Adherence Workshop
April 13 – April 15, 2021
1:00-4:30PM CST (each day)
Learn more and Register for the 2021 WI PrEP Navigation and Adherence Workshop
Hosted by Washington University in St. Louis – School of Medicine, the CDC Capacity Building Network, and the St. Louis STI/HIV Prevention Training Center
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Video Access expires March 31, 2021
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Available Jobs in the Community
Linkage to Care Specialist, Social Worker
Medical College of Wisconsin
HCV and Harm Reduction Navigator
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
Registered Nurse Case Manager, HIV (EIP)
Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.
EIP Community Outreach Worker
Milwaukee Health Services, Inc.