ELGIN — A new bilingual Facebook group, “Yes We Can, SI Se Puede,” has started to help educate African-American and Latino men who have sex with men about access to HIV services.
“We noticed that most material for HIV materials were in English and that the images used for advertising didn’t reflect the black/and or community as well as some other intersectionalities like immigration and/or systemic rascim,” said Rolando Serna, an outreach and prevention educator with Open Door Health Center of Illinois. “And so we wanted to create a safe online space where these communities can receive HIV education and validation of their identities.”
Sena said the hope was to provide people with the self empowerment to make well-informed decisions in regards to sex.
Right now, there are no events planned but they are considering a launch party. Sena said they do hope to host events covering topics such as PrEP, HIV criminalization and its impact on communities of color and HIV stigma. Free HIV test would also be provided.
It is a closed group, but Sena said it is open to everyone. You can request to join here.