PPLM is fostering meaningful partnerships with the state’s health care providers, social service agencies, colleges, correctional centers, substance use disorder treatment and recovery facilities, government agencies, and grassroots groups to break down systemic barriers to affordable, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care.
As advocates and ambassadors, PPLM Community Outreach Specialists have hit the road to spread the word about PPLM’s health care services and educational resources. This year, they delivered presentations and workshops for health professionals and potential patients, participated in conferences, health fairs, and community events, and held hundreds of conversations with people seeking accurate information about sexual and reproductive health care.
PPLM collaborates with community partners to implement comprehensive, medically accurate sex education in community-based settings, but barriers to care and information remain. In Worcester and other communities, young people of color face multiple systemic barriers to sex education and contraception, including stigma, misinformation, and too few providers who understand and respect their social, cultural, and linguistic needs. To help close this gap, bilingual PPLM educators connected with teens in schools, community settings, and programs for pregnant and parenting youth, offering information about preventing sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
PPLM creates partnerships to ensure its marketing strategies reflect the needs of each community it serves. Last fall, PPLM engaged Black and Latina women in Hampden County through a bilingual multimedia campaign “PrEPare, Prevent, Protect yourself from HIV” with the goal of reducing the rate of HIV infections. The message encouraging use of pre-exposure prophylaxis appeared in social media, print ads, brochures, bus billboards and posters, and multiple presentations in the community. Results were positive: pre- and post-presentation surveys showed that levels of familiarity with PrEP rose, on average, from 2.18 to 4.03 percent. Participants scored 97 percent on a post-survey of PrEP and health inequity knowledge, compared to 71 percent on the pre-survey.
”We need to support our young people and give them all the information they need to make the best decisions for their health, lives, and futures.”
– Adriana Ojeda, Sexual Health Ambassador Program Manager
“We are laser focused on building health equity in communities across Massachusetts by playing a deliberate role in reducing disparities.”
- Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, President and CEO
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