Manhattan Group Promotes AIDS Awareness, Education and Support
by Jenny Barnes
"I have worked on AIDS-related issues throughout my career life, first in Africa, then the Caribbean and more recently in the United States. Through my interaction with those infected and affected by the epidemic I have seen first hand the impact of the epidemic and what it can do to individuals, families, entire communities and society in general. With such experiences, I have decided to so something about it and getting involved with RAP is part of my contribution." -Nancy Muturi, Regional AIDS Project Board Member
According to their Web site, RAP is an organization in Manhattan that strives to promote education and awareness about AIDS. They target the younger generation through community events and educational programs because they are the age group most affected by the disease. They have hosted events such as World AIDS Day, lectures and have even offered free confidential testing.
Besides education and awareness, they also help people affected by the disease cope with their life changes. This can include anything from transportation to medical appointments to financial support and counseling referrals.
CECD issued a grant to RAP in fall 2007 to help a group of public relations students develop effective strategies to promote health literacy among minority women and execute intervention programs. Since there is no cure for AIDS, members of RAP vow to continue the battle by educating and generating awareness.
Community organizer, Dominique Saunders-Matta, said, "I remain passionate NOT about the Regional AIDS Project but about HIV and AIDS prevention and what the RAP and organizations like ours are doing to help in supporting those inflicted and educating those that are not; until there is a cure for this disease I do not expect I will feel any differently."