Voices of Prevention -- Gay Men's Health Crisis, Healthy Connections

Uploaded by SAMHSA on 19.03.2012

My name is Janet Weinberg. I'm the Chief Operating officer at
Gay Men’s Health Crisis, GMHC, and we're located in New York.
What are some of the events or circumstances that led you to our program?
Well I know for me, I was going through a lot of issues at the time.
And my brother told me about GMHC, and I've just kind of found a little home here.
The mission of GMHC is very simple. GMHC is here to fight the AIDS epidemic
and uplift the lives of all affected by HIV.
And because the epidemic has changed, so has the work of the agency.
And happily, so has the funders and so has the world in understanding
that prevention and HIV is not one population, but many populations.
HIV is all about behavioral change and so with SAMHSA's support,
we're able to do outreach to the most disparate populations that truly need
support in behavioral change.
I think the strongest collaboration between GMHC and the SAMHSA/CSAP program
has been able to reach populations of young men of color
that we struggled with for years to reach.
Could you name a couple of positive impacts on your life
as a result of this program?
OBB [The Outstanding Beautiful Brothers program] has helped me
to be a better person; to have actually safer sex, and know
what to do when I'm in a situation that I don't want to be in.
Another impact is that I'm in a better place just all around in my life,
knowing how to come out to my family and my friends and getting them
to accept me for who I am.
This space is a unique space because it allows these young people to
feel validated, to feel heard, to feel connected in a way that they aren't
in any other part of their lives.
We had the holiday party for our Outstanding Beautiful Brothers Program,
which is part of the CSAP unit and the work that we do.
And as I sat there, I looked around, and I saw these young men and I thought,
"They have a sense of community here at GMHC." And I wondered,
"Where would they be if it wasn't for GMHC, and if it wasn't for
the SAMHSA CSAP program?"
Okay, last question. Name one word that keeps you inspired
to keep coming to this program.
And my word would be Brotherhood.