When the Florida Department of Health in Broward County (BrowardCHD) noticed that the gay community was fighting an increased number of HIV/AIDS cases, they immediately began to mobilize.
Working with community activists to determine how to help combat the epidemic, the result was Fusion, a drop-in center located in Wilton Manors.
For the past eight years, Fusion has been providing a social environment where high risk and HIV-infected individuals can congregate without being judged.
“It’s a place where they can talk about their issues with no fear or shame,” said Stephen Bailous, Fusion’s human services program specialist.
Since its inception, Fusion has evolved to meet the community’s needs. Today, Fusion serves as a full-service resource center that offers referrals and health screenings.
One of their long-standing programs is Healthy Living, a HIV support group of bisexual and gay men that meets every Thursday. World-renowned therapist, Dr. David Fawcett, facilitates the meeting.
Fusion has an impressive transgender program, T-House, that combines an online news and information center with on-site support groups and meetings. Their biggest meeting is Talking T, an open forum every third Thursday of the month. In collaboration with Care Resource, Fusion will debut a Miami Talking T on May 20.
“In order to make programs successful, you must collaborate because there’s power in numbers,” said Jodi Reichman, Fusion’s transgender program coordinator.
Reichman has achieved remarkable success with T House. She averages up to 30 attendees at weekly meetings and added an extra day to their 5th Annual Transgender Medical Symposium (May 14-15), which is free to medical, mental health and licensed health professionals.
BrowardCHD will host a two-day South Florida Men’s Health & Wellness Conference on July 18-19 for people from Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Hendry and De Soto counties. Registration is free and open to the public.
Housing scholarships are available for those who are interested yet live in distant counties.
Source: by Jameer Baptist, GUY Magazine Guy Mag.net