June 5, 2009

Healthy Relationships Intervention Institute [Organizers]

Healthy Relationships brings HIV-positive people together in highly interactive small groups and helps them develop coping skills to reduce stress in their lives, negotiate choices, and deal with HIV disclosure.

Last month, ASC hosted the 2009 Healthy Relationships Intervention Institute, a regional summit sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Twenty AIDS service organizations from across New York State gathered to share best practices and hone the skills of training facilitators to support the implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of the Healthy Relationships program.

"Over the past 4 years, I've witnessed how the Healthy Relationships intervention has helped clients develop important skills for disclosing their HIV status to family members, friends, and sex partners," says Guy Williams, ASC Training Coordinator. "The Institute helped to reinforce the core elements of the intervention for program facilitators. It gave them the opportunity to receive guidance from the researchers present and to learn from each other's successes and challenges."

Dr. Sekai Chedeya of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, emphasized the need for programs to appeal to a diverse range of clients when providing prevention education. "The most successful programs are the creative ones that make clients comfortable, and therefore more likely to stay connected to services. Small touches can make a big difference," said Dr. Chedeya.

Dr. Seth Kalichman, an originator of the Healthy Relationships Intervention, has been touring the country, evaluating agencies' implementation and adaptation of the program over the past 3 years. "Sharing with each other, making it work, making it fit, is where the action is."

ASC extends special thanks to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, NYS DOH, NYC DOHMH and CDC for their leadership in organizing this summit. For more information about ASC's education and training programs, contact

Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC

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