NMAC’s 50+ Strong & Healthy 2023 Mini Grants

HIV 50+ - Strong & HealthyEach year, NMAC is proud to support several of our 50+ scholars as they implement projects in their local communities designed to impact older adults living with HIV. This year, we’re excited to announce the five projects that have been awarded a $2,500 mini grant. Many thanks to the scholars who have designed these community projects, and their local community collaborators who will help implement the project. Read more about our grantees below.

Kneeshe Parkinson and RISE IMPACT

“HERSTORY IS COURAGE” will create a community of storytellers to combat HIV-related stigma and improve health through treatment adherence. This is a homegrown, community-informed and evidence-based intervention. We will utilize a three-stage peer-led discussion group to address social determinants of health, promote vocational development, increase social health support, and decrease isolation for women over the age of 50 living with HIV. The program will be implemented by RISE IMPACT (Rejuvenate, Influence Self- Elevation on Impact), an organization dedicated to educating, strengthening, and empowering women, youth, and families. RISE IMPACT provides life-changing outcomes for marginalized communities.

Charles Debnam and Community Wellness Alliance Collaborative

Living Tobacco Free (HIV+ and Aging): Through focus group discussions, this project aims to gather information and data that will help identify ways the Aging HIV+ smoking community can quit smoking. Participants will receive a presentation called, “Healthy Lifestyles,” which addresses the history of tobacco, the harms it causes, and where to get help.  We will then engage participants in a focus group-style discussion on why they smoke, challenges they have with quitting, and look at what type of messages either on TV, social media etc. they would like to see to help them quit and who best to deliver these messages. Focus groups will only be open to 50+ individuals living with HIV who smoke.

Franklin Sampley and Affirming Christian Fellowship

This grant will expand a scholarship program specifically for those who are 50+ to attend the Affirming Christian Fellowship conference.  The goal will be to build community through ongoing support for those who are a part of the LGBT Christian community and living with HIV, with an emphasis on those 50+. During the conference, we will conduct a workshop/panel discussion with those living with HIV and church/ministry leadership, have a luncheon for face-to-face meeting time with the scholarship recipients, have a lounge for those living with HIV, and have a display table for materials related to HIV prevention, treatment, and ministry.

Alicia Diggs and SERO Project

“Paint and Learn for a Healthier You” is a project designed to help teach cisgender women 50+ living with HIV some fundamentals around nutrition, healthy eating, and self-care. This event will include:

  • Sharing tips on shopping for healthy food on a budget
  • How to meal plan and prep stress free
  • Therapeutic painting to offer emotional release of stress or anxiety with hopes of giving participants reminders to focus on self while having fun

The anticipated outcomes of this half day seminar for 20-30 cisgender women who are 50 years of age and older living with HIV, will result in them having learned healthier eating habits, meal prep ideas on a budget, and holistic self-care while having fun doing it. It is anticipated that participants will gain more power over their health needs and share what they have learned with others in their family and in their community.

Stephanie Laster and Lepena Reid and Diamond Ministries Inc.

Women over 50+ aging with HIV require comprehensive health care and health education to manage and prevent multiple comorbidities. Our project will serve 10 women living with HIV in the southern United States in this effort. We will have 5 one-hour virtual sessions. Our outcomes consist of reducing fear, anxiety, and isolation among those aging with HIV in the south and to improve health literacy among these women. We will have pre and post-test assessments, polls, and evaluations after each session. We will have a guest speaker for each session, including Infectious disease physicians, HIV research study professionals and community advocates.

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