My year at the Commission as an Intern by Pilar Mendez

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Looking back on a successful year at the Commission gives me such pride to be a part of a leading organization focused on Hispanic health equity. I have been able to mold my internship experience to my interests, and have been involved in everything from HIV testing to writing articles about health disparities in the Deep South. I never would have imagined being able to be involved in projects from all aspects of an intervention. I would use SPSS to enter data and create codebooks on a variety of capacity building programs, a highly marketable skill in Public Health research. I also conducted interviews with a variety of Hispanic leaders in the Deep South for an assessment report on pressing concerns affecting quality of life. It was through these informal discussions that I was able to learn just how different the political and health climates are across varying states. In New York City itself, I contacted local leading policy officials and highly influential community-based health organizations who see and cater to Hispanic communities on a daily basis, in order to create a working document for outreach purposes.

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 Interns and HEARD staff at the United Nations, December, 2014

I continued with the Deep South assessments in my second semester of work, by  researching media outlets, including print and radio organizations, who market to a Hispanic audience in order to disseminate information about National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and HIV/AIDS-related health information. From there, I wrote a number of editorials and opinion articles that focused on health disparities in the Deep South for these outlets. Topics for these articles included obesity rates and chronic illnesses to how the physical built environment affects health outcomes.

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Where are We Headed? IAC 2014 theme of the day.

As the International AIDS Conference wraps up in Melbourne, Australia we are asked to ponder “Where are we headed?” Our CBA Specialists shine some light on where they believe the HIV field is moving henceforth… Use the comments section below to let us know where YOU think the HIV/AIDS field is going to!

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Stepping Up the Pace: IAC 2014 theme of the day.

In-Home HIV Test and an HIV Free Generation

Today’s theme at the IAC2014 is “Stepping up the Pace.” This theme seems to me like the perfect call to action that we all should heed to. The new biomedical interventions like PrEP and treatment as prevention have been making headlines all over the world. There is no denying that the science community has been active doing their share of the bargain. What about us, the general community? Continue reading

My First Step in “Stepping up the Pace”

When recently asked what we can do to step up the pace in our efforts to end the AIDS epidemic, I was instantly reminded of a recent email from the Student Global AIDS Campaign (SGAC). The email was urging us, as constituents, to plead with the senate and foreign operation subcommittee to move the $300 million dollars that are unable to be appropriated to the Global AIDS Fund into the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Continue reading

No One Gets Left Behind! IAC 2014 theme of the day.

The Ethics of Finding a Cure for HIV

At the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, discussions about the race to cure for HIV are inevitable.   We in an exciting era in HIV research, with tumultuous announcements of breakthroughs and setbacks that we expect to lead us toward a world where HIV is an anachronism. The speed at which researchers are being funded to churn out publications toward a cure for HIV is unprecedented.

We can visualize the benefits, but at what cost?  Research and new innovations have social and ethical ramifications that should be considered, including those to human subjects –people- willing to part take in experiments.  The Mississippi Baby born with HIV and thought to have been in remission is a human subject to experimentation.  Although international policies and regulations for research with human subjects are in place, what special considerations should the HIV community consider in reaching a cure?
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