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West Hollywood’s HIV strategic plan launches anonymous survey

West Hollywood’s HIV Zero Strategic Plan wants to reduce HIV infections, expand access to healthcare and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Photo: Joshua Barash/City of West Hollywood.

WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood residents are encouraged to take an anonymous City survey and give feedback explaining how stigma related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status has affected their access to healthcare and wellness.

Residents can take the survey through October 21. They also can complete the survey at a “pop-up” event adjacent to the Starbucks on Santa Monica Boulevard near the corner of Westmount Drive on Wednesday from 8 to 10 a.m, according to a city press release.

WEHO’S HIV PLAN

The city’s Social Services Division launched the survey as part of its HIV Zero Strategic Plan, which the city council approved on Dec. 5, 2016.

West Hollywood’s initiative is adapted from former President Barack Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy for 2020 and similar to ones implemented in San Francisco and New York City.

“Stigma is a difficult factor to measure,” said David Giugni, manager of the social services division.  “We need some sense of the community’s experience with stigma. We need a baseline to measure.”

The HIV Zero Strategic Plan has four goals:

  • Expand access to healthcare for people living with HIV and people at an elevated risk for acquiring HIV
  • Reduce HIV infections
  • Reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequalities
  • Slow the disease’s progress from HIV to AIDS

WEHO HIV RATES

In 2014, West Hollywood men were more than 13 times more likely to be newly diagnosed or living with HIV than men in Los Angeles County, according to the plan.

These numbers underscore “the increased likelihood of acquiring HIV or living with HIV for men in West Hollywood. These disparities help clarify why the West Hollywood HIV Zero Initiative is so timely and critical,” according to the plan.

The council will receive an evaluation report on the HIV Zero Strategic Plan, including the survey results, at its December 4 meeting, Giugni said.

Staff writer Phillip Zonkel contributed to this report.

About the author

Stephanie Thai

Hailing from San Francisco, Stephanie Thai is a Southern Californian transplant. She spends her time writing, reading, and eating wherever she can, though not in that order. On her downtime, Thai takes 12-hour cat naps, hikes urban trails, and frequents travel websites to entertain her expensive hobby of traveling the globe.

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