PALS Project @ The Pride Center
The PALS Project (Positive Action for Living Safely) is a part of The Pride Center Florida at Equality Park in Wilton Manors. We provide Health and Wellness programs for individuals living with HIV. And HIV prevention programs for all individuals to lower their risk. All our programs, services and events are free.
Here’s an introduction for you:
CHOICES EBI (Choosing Healthy Options & Improving Communication Effectiveness)
- This program meets 2.5 hours each week for 5 weeks with 7-12 HIV+ men (MSM) to help participants build healthy relationships, lower stress and learn healthy coping skills to handle challenging situations. Participants view movie clips, engage in interactive exercises including role play and discussions of various life situations. These activities include learning healthy decision making skills and how to wisely disclose HIV status to family, friends and sex partners for improved safety. [2 cycles/mo of5 wks; 5-12 participants.]
LIFE EBI(Learning Immune Function Enhancement)
- This program meets 3 hours each week for 16 weeks with 40 HIV+ men (MSM) to teach holistic health and wellness skills. Participants put into practice 26 bio/psycho/social co-factors. Each workshop consists of large group education, experiential exercises, small group discussions and weekly individual health action plans. Participants receive factual, research-based information, participate in exercises to increase self awareness and practice health related skills to improve their immune system, and overall health, safety and psycho-social wellness. They receive guidance writing and implementing weekly personal health plans for thriving with HIV. [2 cycles of 16 wks/yr; 40 – 45 participants ea.]
PEER POWER PROGRAM
- PALS incorporates a team of peer mentors as an integral part of its services. Outstanding graduates of our programs are recruited, carefully selected and trained as co-mentors and/or co-facilitators partnering with staff to provide our programs. These peers are an important part of the effectiveness and quality of our services.
- A special program for Black MSM who are either living with HIV or at risk. The goal of the program is to create culturally appropriate HIV prevention & interventions that promote the health of the local Black MSM community. The first year will assess the community’s needs through small KIKI events.
- The PALS Project conducts targeted outreach to communities most heavily impacted by HIV in Broward County, including the areas with the highest HIV incident rates. Through these services we recruit individuals for HIV testing and follow up, risk reduction interventions, condom distribution and HIV education and awareness. We utilize traditional face-to-face outreach as well as internet-based/virtual outreach. When conducting face-to-face outreach we focus on venues where HIV infected and high risk negative MSM frequent: bars, clubs, bathhouses, and doctor’s offices. Our cyber-outreach utilizes popular social media websites, like Facebook, and social meeting, like Grinder and Growler, when conducting internet-based/virtual outreach. Our outreach efforts enable us to reach men who need our services but may have never heard about our programs before or have never been HIV tested (or recently tested).
- The PALS condom distribution program targets MSM who are HIV-infected or who are at high(est) risk. Emphasis is also to identify non-traditional locations, providing condoms to the target high risk group (MSM).
- A team of certified HIV testers has the goal of increasing the proportion of high risk MSM to know their HIV status. Testers provide those requesting a test with information and education regarding HIV and testing, including HIV risk factors and protection methods, the method of testing and the meaning of results, the window period for sero-conversion and the policy of partner counseling and referral services in the case of a positive test result. After providing consent, the tester conducts a risk assessment with the testee. Individuals engaging in risk behaviors will be referred to additional resources (e.g. BUDDIES program). Those individuals with a reactive test result will also be scheduled a follow-up appointment for a confirmatory test and to provide assistance. This includes linking the person with the Broward Health department Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) and to PROACT for STI and partner services. The tester also arranges and introduction to the PALS staff and programs. A major goal is to link at least eighty. Testing for HIV is one of the smartest things you can do for your health and even for others. HIV Testing at The Pride Center is free and confidential. The PALS Project can help you.
COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION INITIATIVES- -BRTA
- We have recently begun a new Community Mobilization Initiative with local LGBT friendly businesses, called Business Response to AID (BRTA). This initiative enables us to create business networks to directly engage this valuable community resource to actively engage in HIV prevention with employees and customers by raising HIV awareness, provide HIV information, encourage HIV Testing, encourage HIV risk reduction with access to free condoms, to help reduce HIV stigma and to link individuals to needed services. This program organizes a minimum of two (2) events/yr with the collaborating businesses that coincide with HIV/AIDS observance days.
COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION INITIATIVE- -FRTA
- We have also recently begun another new Community Mobilization Initiative with local LGBT friendly Faith communities, called Faith Responds to AIDS (FRTA). This initiative enables us to create Faith-based networks to directly engage this valuable community resource to participate in HIV prevention with their congregants by raising HIV awareness, provide HIV information, encourage HIV Testing, encourage HIV risk reduction with access to free condoms, to help reduce HIV stigma and to link individuals to needed services. This program organizes a minimum of two (2) events/yr with the collaborating ministries that coincide with HIV/AIDS observance days.
HEALTHCARE NAVIGATION PROGRAMS
- If you are living with HIV and are having difficulty finding the healthcare you need, getting back into healthcare after dropping out or having the right meds and staying on them, let us know. Our Healthcare Navigator can work with you to find good medical care and support during your treatment. We may also be able to help you with community resources for: insurance problems, Ryan White & ADAP, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, disability and housing assistance, etc.
- This is another Healthcare Navigation program but targeted for individuals who are newly living with HIV and need to be linked to healthcare services including medication and/or insurance coverage. The program is 5 sessions max. if all are needed. Other individuals living with HIV but fallen out of healthcare may be eligible.
BUDDIES COACHING & INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
- A specialized part of the BUDDIES program is individualized coaching by college students (some in graduate school) in behavioral health. This service provides individuals with an opportunity to work more intensely on emotional, social and psychological challenges they might be struggling with.
For more information contact:
Frank Gurucharri @ 954-463-9011 ext. 301
Please check out our Facebook, email us, call or stop by and visit. Find out more about how the PALS Project can help you become healthier.
The Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 N. Dixie Hwy
Wilton Manors, FL 33305