2014 has already proven to be an amazing year for us at WORLD and we could not be happier to share what this small organization with a big impact has been up to. While there are many new things to report, the specialized services that define WORLD remain the same.
We are now testing! This past June, we rolled out our HIV screening and prevention project aiming to reach women in our community in need of access to testing. We know there aren’t many places for women to get tested and that traditional risk categories for a person considered “high risk” don’t reflect the realties of women’s lives and sadly, are often turned away from testing. That’s why Oakland WOW! (Women Outreaching to Women) provides tailored outreach and responsiveness to local women who are t risk for HIV and through testing, we are able to help connect them to other WORLD programs. The word has spread throughout the community and the response has been tremendous! Keeping the focus on women, our testing site is seen as a safe space for all identified women expanding to trans women and their partners. With four certified testers on site, Oakland WOW! leverages WORLD’s relationships with allied service providers to offer gender-responsive and culturally sensitive screening and prevention services for women with demonstrated vulnerability to HIV infection.
Peer Support Group
Our support groups are held weekly and are always Peer-led. Our Wednesday afternoon group from 11:30-1:30 is a wonderful place for women to get together and support each other, talk about their concerns, or just engage in therapeutic relaxation. Activities include educational presentations on nutrition, HIV and the heart, diabetes, adherence, sexual health, exercise, and stress management just to name a few. We also provide art therapy, and check-ins so every woman’s voice is heard. Our Peer Support Grops have been the backbone of our organization and we feel humbled after every group seeing how strong our women are how they create a safe space for themselves that is welcoming for everyone.
“I look forward to Wednesdays, I can’t wait to get here. I’ve been so isolated”- Anonymous
In addition to our Wednesday afternoon group, we now offer a NEW group held Tuesday’s at 4:00pm focusing on those newly diagnosed and women who’ve fallen out of care. Topics covered will include self-care, medication, sexual health, and support.
East Bay Pride Parade
This year, WORLD’s presence was known at Oakland’s very first LGBTQ Pride Parade! Thousands came out to celebrate on a very beautiful day in the East Bay. Shout out to Nena who wrangled in thirsty pride-goers left and right. The biggest highlight for us was catching up with staff and clients from our early years! We found ourselves reminiscing about friends, family, and the love we feel for the people who make WORLD go round. Thank you to everyone who supported, marched, and filled the streets of Oakland with love and support. We hope to see you all next year!
In partnership with APEB (AIDS Project of the East Bay), WORLD now provides outpatient substance use counseling and support to encourage clients to get recovery, empowerment and life! By utilizing support groups, one-on-one counseling, recovery support including housing support, job placement, and life skills education, the GET REAL program supports clients in achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. In addition to substance use support, we provide all GET REAL clients with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C screenings, anyone who tests positive will receive needed treatment and support.
Currently our outreach is focused in the city of Oakland and clients who reside within Alameda County who are African American women (18 years and over), African American young MSM (18 -29 years old) and African American MSM (30 years and older). To date we have graduated 80 clients from our six-month program! If you are interested in learning more, please call our office and ask to speak with Denise or Debra.
If you follow us on social media, you’re probably tired of hearing about our new affiliation with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). But we could not be more ecstatic about this new partnership! For those of you who are unaware, on July 1st, we announced that we will be uniting with global public health organization AHF in order to expand our capacity to provide lifesaving services to women, girls, families, and communities affected by HIV in the Greater Bay Area. Our mission, programs and services will remain the same, but our capacity to deliver them has increased.
This partnership has been two years in the making, Executive Director Cynthia Carey-Grant states, “The new affiliation between WORLD and AHF allows WORLD to expand outreach to more marginalized women who are most at risk for HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to increase the retention in care of high risk diagnosed individuals through culturally competent women focused prevention and service programs”. We look forward to this new opportunity