Brothers United / The Damien Center
LGBTQ youth, ages 13-24
- Community-based organization
- Sexual health clinic
HIV Care Continuum
- Bar Before the Bars: Addressing Stigma
- Linkage to care
- Retention in care
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Viral suppression
- Bellflower Clinic
- Ezkenazi Health
- Life Care
- St. Francis Hospital
- State and local health departments
- Women in Motion
Brothers United and the Damien Center’s joint Linkage to Care (L2C) program connects clients to in-house and off-site medical and social services that help prevent HIV infection and maintain the health of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).
The Damien Center is a one-stop care setting where clients living with HIV can access resources and services that help them lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Supports include a full-service medical clinic with a food pantry, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services, and community spaces for support groups.
Brothers United provides comprehensive, specialized case management and care coordination for PLWHA--particularly for Black LGBT patients. Both organizations rely on a network of local community-based organizations (CBOs) and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) to improve linkage to HIV and STD/STI care services for Black gay/bisexual men who live in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.
Since the Damien Center and Brothers United are located in close proximity to one another, clients are able to take advantage of a host of coordinated services offered by both organizations. Eligible clients can readily access PrEP services, which include comprehensive risk-reduction counseling, assistance with Medicaid enrollment, and referrals for social and medical services. HIV-negative clients and those living with HIV can participate in various support groups including: HIV Mpower, a support group designed for same-gender-loving men living with HIV; and 50 Plus, for HIV+ men ages 50 and older who are seeking social support to cope with aging in the context of HIV.
Brothers United Targeted Services
Brothers United staff take a client-centered approach to providing services. Staff members work closely with clients to address barriers to care and to develop comprehensive plans for health, wellness, and personal development while providing linkages to resources in the local community. Onsite services include:
Ryan White Support Services
Brothers United receives funding through Part C of the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which offers support services (including linkage to care, housing support and case management) for PLWHA.
Support for Persons Living with HIV
Brothers United offers weekly meetings and workshops that promote the sexual health and well-being of men living with HIV/AIDS.
Young Adult Discussion Group
The Immaculate Men Acquiring Genuine Excellence (IMAGE) is a youth group focused on educating and empowering young men by creating a comfortable and safe space to discuss topics such as sexuality, education, relationships, and healthy sexual behavior.
Many Men, Many Voices (3MV)
3MV is a behavioral intervention for Black gay/bisexual men ages 25 & over. The intervention, which was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections by discussing factors that influence identity, behavior, self-efficacy, power, and partner negotiation.
Pillow Talk (Transgender Support Services)
Pillow Talk is a peer-led program designed to support and empower Brothers United's transgender (trans) clients. Pillow Talk provides workshops and trainings that assist participants with finding gainful employment and reaching their educational goals. Additional services include support groups, violence-prevention information and advocacy, housing services, and mental-health counseling and referrals.
Red Ribbon Rumble (RRR) HIV Prevention Program
The Red Ribbon Rumble (RRR) is an HIV-prevention program that targets the local House/Ballroom community. RRR is funded by the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis. RRR youth participate in leadership-development activities and contribute to program design and implementation. They also host biweekly gatherings on Thursdays from 9:00–11:00 PM and host events throughout the year to engage local communities in health-promotion activities and information sharing.
The Vision Program
The Vision Program offers immediate and direct services for youth who may be seeking employment and/or educational opportunities. Brothers United staff members and volunteers help clients to develop resumes, obtain employment, apply for school, and access other social services or resources.
Mental Health Services
Brothers United offers onsite mental health counseling, including ongoing group and individual counseling sessions for mental health and substance use.
Though PrEP is offered locally at ASOs and CBOs like the Damien Center, many of Brothers United’s clients are unaware of how to access, use, and cover the cost of PrEP. Brothers United has embarked on an educational campaign to spread the word about PrEP within the local Black gay male community, and the organization offers PrEP education to clients--both onsite and offsite during community events. PrEP education activities include:
- Defining PrEP
- Explaining how PrEP functions as an HIV-prevention method
- Informing clients where to access PrEP in the local community
"It’s not hard to get clients connected to care. Our hardest part is keeping them connected to care."
Majester Sean McDuffie