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Tag: des moines

28
Sep

Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 28th

It is the last week of September, it seemed like the month just flew by.

Last Saturday’s mobile testing event was a success.  We’ve provided 32 rapid HIV test.  We want to thank The Blazing Saddle, The Garden Nightclub, and other businesses in the East Village for their support.


Free HIV/STI Testing

This week’s testing clinic schedule is as follows:

Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Primary Health Care – Ames Clinic (3510 Lincoln Way)

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (HIV test only, no STI screening available at this time. No appointments needed.)

LOL – Live Out Loud 2015

Sunday, November 8 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. (Doors open @ 6:30)

 Wooly’s (504 E Locust St, East Village)

Enjoy live music and exclusive performances from Des Moines’ best entertainers.
Spend your Sunday evening with The Project and celebrate nearly 3 decades of the community coming together to improve the lives of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Purchase your tickets today by filling out the form below. 

14
Sep

Here’s What’s Up: Week of September 14th.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post.  Here’s What’s Up took a break last week due to the Labor Day holiday, but we are back now!

It is the third week of September and it is Rosh Hashanah (or the Jewish New Year).  The day is said to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.

We just a few reminders:

Free HIV/STI Testing

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Des Moines (1200 University Avenue)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

We are testing at our Primary Health Care’s Ames clinic on Thursday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

As always, you can schedule your appointment at projecthim.org/free-testing.


 

Client Picnic at Union Park

It is The Project’s annual Client Picnic this Friday, September 18th, starting at 5:30 pm.  Bring your family and join the Project’s staff, volunteers, and clients for a fun evening full of games, prizes, and carousel rides.  Food will be provided.

Confirm your attendance by calling 515-248-1595.

Transportation can be provided. Just let us know when you confirm you RSVP.


 

Live Out Loud 2015

You can purchase now your tickets for Live Out Loud 2015!

17
Aug

Here’s What’s Up: Week of August 17th

Happy Monday from everyone here at Project HIM.  We’ve received a few questions concerning our recent post about the Determine™ HIV test.  We are happy to answer your questions submitted through our Facebook page, Twitter, or in the comment section.  Keep your questions coming.

Here’s what’s up for us this week.

Free HIV/STI Testing clinic.

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – University Ave. clinic

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday 9:00 – 2:00 pm

Testing hours for Primary Health Care – Ames clinic 

  • Every 3rd Thursdays (August 20th) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Reserve your spot on our online scheduler.  Select Primary Health Care – Ames for “Location”.

Schedule your free HIV/STI test here or call 515-248-1595.


Become a Community Health Educator.

Project HIM’s volunteer peer advocate program, the Street Team, is now the Community Health Educators. Under this new program, volunteers will gain valuable experience while helping in our mission to stop the spread of HIV in Iowa. We provide our volunteers with the education and training needed to serve at-risk population without shaming and free of stigma.

Community Health Educators will help promote a better understanding of HIV – in prevention, in treatment, and in linkage to care – that enriches the lives of the community they serve.

Check out our Volunteer page for ways you can be involved.

 


Let’s Focus On You!

Looking to make changes? CLEAR can help. CLEAR is a free counseling workshop for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their partners.

For more information, visit our CLEAR page or call Brandon at 515-248-1584.

 

2
Jun

One Minute HIV Test To Be Offered at Pride

The Project of Primary Health Care and Polk County Health Department will offer 1 minute HIV test at this year’s Capital City Pride in Des Moines, on June 13th and 14th.

The Project (formerly AIDS Project of Central Iowa) has been providing free and confidential rapid HIV testing at PrideFest since 2007.

During the festivities, the public can get a free 1 Minute INSTI HIV tests, along with screenings for Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. Results for other STD screenings can take up to 5 business days.

The INSTI test is very well suited to events of this kind because results are available immediately. Other rapid HIV tests can require 15 to 40 minutes to run, which can deter people from testing or from returning for their results.

In addition to being the fastest test in the world, INSTI is over 99% accurate and the most sensitive rapid antibody test currently on the point of care market—meaning it can detect HIV earlier than all other tests of its kind, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data.

It is estimated that over 1.1 million people are HIV positive in America and 1 in 6 don’t know they are infected. Individuals on treatment can reduce their risk of spreading the virus by as much as 96%.

The first step is taking the test, and the CDC recommends routine HIV screening for all Americans aged 15 to 65 – not just those deemed to be “at risk.”

To get your free INSTITM test at PrideFest 2015, stop by The Project’s booth either on Saturday or Sunday of Pride. PrideFest 2015 will be held at the historic East Village on June 13th – 14th. Free testing is available on Saturday from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

30
Apr

Shortsighted

Ryan Bergby guest contributor: Ryan Berg.
When I met Charles, I’d recently moved back to Des Moines from New York City, a stop-off, I’d intended, on my way out west. I sat in a coffee shop getting some work done when my mind began to wander. I logged on to a smart phone social networking application designed for gay men, and received a message from Charles, a college freshman.
 
We exchanged pictures, made small talk, and before long he got to the point: He was eager to meet right away. He didn’t mince words about what he wanted.
I might have been drawn to his youthful longing. Maybe I was acting out because being back in Iowa felt suffocating to my sexuality, or maybe his boldness triggered my own desire. Whatever the reason, I met with him. And not only did we have sex; we had it without a condom. I knew better. Here was a person I’d been acquainted with for less than an hour. We’d exchanged little more than first names, and yet I still found myself jumping into risky territory.
I’d broken a rule of contemporary gay life. As long as I’ve been having sex, it’s been understood: Don’t endanger your sexual health. Everyone knows it’s a death wish.
 
But Charles seemed fine with our slip, almost encouraged it. There were moments during our rendezvous where I could have interjected, impressed upon him the inherent dangers of unprotected sex; I could have shaken us both from the irrational haze of our desire. I could have grabbed a condom.
I can’t blame my lapse in judgment on drugs, alcohol, or the shame of being in the closet. I’m educated about HIV/AIDS, having worked with queer youth in New York and volunteered for both the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and Housing Works. I get tested regularly, and have been scrupulous about maintaining my HIV negative status. I know the studies; have researched articles about the resurgent HIV epidemic, climbing syphilis rates, new drug-resistant strains of Chlamydia. So why would I chance my sexual health for this brief encounter with Charles?
 
Risk is a relative notion. Perhaps I qualified my safety by being in the Midwest where the numbers of HIV infections are lower. Or, because of Charles’ age, and my assumption that he hadn’t had many sexual partners, my risk was lessened. Whatever the calculation, I felt daring enough to engage in a way contrary to my knowledge of the subject.
 
The more I talked to young men on the smart phone application, both closeted and out, the more apparent it was to me that the younger generation of men who have sex with men in Iowa– like most places across the country– were willing, and often times preferred, to engage in unprotected sex.
 
When considering risk, public health professionals tend to focus on how rational or irrational a choice is based on the information available. Rarely is it considered how emotions, our sense of self, can alter our decisions. It’s easy to isolate a situation like Charles and mine, and examine it, define it as a momentary lapse of reason. How else could such careless behavior be explained? But new studies show that nearly 50% of gay men using hook up smart phone applications engage in unprotected sex regularly. Momentary lapses are becoming habitual, repeated behaviors.
 
I grew up watching AIDS patients wasting away on television, and listening to the cries for action by activists as they faced social indifference and political neglect. Witnessing the near-death frailty of once youthful men on TV frightened a whole generation soon to come out of the closet into being meticulous about sexual safety. Later, as anti-retroviral therapies became available, and the lives of those living with AIDS were prolonged, a belief seemed to permeate queer culture. Sex, it appeared, was losing its danger. Youth have become more brazen, often times ignoring a host of complications that come with living with AIDS. One young man I spoke with recently shrugged when I asked about his habitual unsafe sexual practices. He told me it wasn’t a big deal if he tested positive, it’s no longer a death sentence.
 
People are living with the disease, true, but people are dying too. Even when you’re able to pay for the medication, a litany of problems can arise. The drugs can having serious side-effects, particularly in advanced disease; if patients miss doses, drug resistance can develop; providing anti-retroviral treatment is costly and resource-intensive, and the majority of the world’s infected individuals can’t access treatment services; individuals who fail to use anti-retrovirals properly can develop multi-drug resistant strains which can be passed onto others.
 
Results from a recent review confirm that HIV-positive adults are at a higher risk for developing cancer than the general population. In particular, people with HIV are about four times more likely to develop cancer than people without HIV and are slightly more likely to develop cancer than people who have had an organ transplant.
AIDS education has seemed to wane from public discourse and prevention instruction seems sequestered to HIV testing sites. Remember the days when red ribbons were fastened to the lapels of a host of public figures, serving as a reminder of the epidemic?
 
Luckily, we might see the reappearance of such reminders this year. Films like the Academy Award nominated How to Survive a Plague, and Jim Hubbard’s United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, are bringing AIDS awareness back into focus.
 
Young men who have sex with men need to grapple with, and face the facts these films present.
 
Youth can be perilous without support and education. As men of a generation that remembers the devastation of the AIDS epidemic, there is a need to reach out to our younger counterparts. Gay male mentors are nearly nonexistent for young men. Most men, myself included, have allowed desires to dictate interactions with younger men. As a result, many like Charles get terribly lost before coming to a healthy, integrated sense of self. Now it’s time to step up, to present ourselves, and our knowledge, in hopes of making the lives of our youth a little less lonely and a lot safer.
9
Sep

First Images from 2014 Project HIM Calendar

Whatever You're Into

2013 Project HIM calendar cover girl, Shenatta Tweenk Belle loves her Twinkies.

Last year, when we released the 2013 Project HIM calendar, Whatever You’re Into…, we did not anticipate that it’s going to be popular. We still have people asking for it, and it’s already September! It may have something to do with the sexy photos by Billy Porter (and the hot guys in it!). We just wanted to spread the word about Project HIM, and our particular brand of “no guilt, no shame” approach to HIV prevention.

 

For the 2014 Project HIM calendar, we took inspirations from our childhood. We partnered with photographer Robert Whicker and graphic designer Jordan Selha to create fun and sexy pictures of local guys and drag performers posing as characters from fairy tales, folk lore, and other literary fictional characters.

 

Earlier today, a portion of the photographs from 2014 calendar were released through our multiple social media outlets. The calendar will be unveiled during the annual Black Party this fall. More information about the event will come soon. In the meantime, here are some of the photos from the 2014 Project HIM calendar.

 

James & Joe as "Hansel & Gretel".

James & Joe as “Hansel & Gretel”.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

2013 Mr. Iowa Leather, Mark as the big bad wolf, and Marwan as Red.

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan

The fabulous Tyona Diamond in and out of drag as Mulan.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor's New Clothes.

The handsome Anthony as the emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes.

 

 

8
Feb

Pride Yoga

Namaste!

Pride Yoga

 

Stretch your body, mind, and spirit in an accepting, judgment-free environment. Through our partnership with Glaza Studio, we are pleased to offer Pride Yoga. 

This class will incorporate yoga-inspired stretching and peace of mind through breath-work and intentions of gratitude and acceptance of oneself. Each class will begin with intentions and relaxing breath-work. We will continue with intentions as we stretch the body and work to gain strength and flexibility. This class is suitable for all skill levels-including beginners.

Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to open your heart. 

Sundays, starting March 10th. 12pm – 1pm

Glaza Studio, 502 E. Locust

$5 Drop-in or $35 for an 8-week pass.

Click here to download the registration form.

Project HIM assumes no liability, claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, sustained while participating in this class.

26
Sep

New Testing Hours Starting October 1st!

New Clinic Hours