LGBT Life Center
African-American gay/bisexual men, ages 16-29
HIV Care Continuum
- Linkage to care
- Retention in care
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Viral suppression
- Eastern Virginia Medical School—CAPUS Care Navigators
- Norfolk Public Health Department and Disease Intervention Specialists
- Program Advisory Board (including members of the House of Khan and Ebony)
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Choosing Life: Empowerment, Action, Results (CLEAR) is a client-centered counseling intervention that utilizes one-on-one cognitive behavioral techniques to provide Black same-gender-loving men with skills necessary to make healthy life choices. CLEAR is administered onsite at LGBT Life Center, a community–driven safe space for LGBT youth located within the LGBT Center of Hamptons Road in Norfolk, VA.
Counseling takes place in nontraditional settings (e.g., client’s home, libraries, and parks). Clients view their counselors as part of their larger support system for making healthy choices gives them opportunities to recruit new participants. Approximately 20% of new CLEAR patient referrals come from former program participants.
CLEAR clients receive case-management services to support linkage to and retention in care. Clients participate for an average of 40 days and complete the following skills-building sessions:
- Session 1: Getting to Know Each Other (e.g., developing emotional awareness)
- Session 2: Creating a Vision for the Future (e.g., identifying one’s ideal self)
- Session 3: Stressors and SMART Problem-Solving (e.g., developing life-skill goals; engaging in harm reduction for substance use; discussing issues related to status disclosure)
- Session 4: Exploring Different Types of Communication
- Session 5: Putting It All Together (e.g., developing a prevention plan)
CLEAR case managers assist with transportation to counseling sessions and help clients meet other social needs, including housing and employment and mental-health counseling. A number of services are provided in-house at the LGBT Center.
"CLEAR helped me realize the importance of taking care of my health instead of being worried about what other people think. I was able to talk about my HIV diagnosis without the feeling of being judged."
CLEAR Program Participant