In Muskegon County, the number of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS cases has been on the rise. There is a lack of sex education in the area, and people are having trouble accessing the care they need. UpFront is a community-based coalition whose mission is to empower the community by providing STI/HIV education and awareness tools that encourage everyone to be upfront about their sexual health.
UpFront’s vision is to be Muskegon County’s go-to coalition for education and resources toward reducing the stigma and incidence rates around HIV and STIs by 2020. How will we make it happen? By increasing the sexual health knowledge base in as many area schools and organizations as possible, we can secure our community’s future. UpFront will combat the negative stigma related to HIV and STIs, enabling community members to feel more comfortable coming forward and getting tested. Together, we’ll make these goals a reality. It’s time to be upfront about sexual health in Muskegon County.
Inclusion. We provide assistance and resources to all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, current health status, or any other factor. UpFront is here to help anyone who may need them, no questions asked.
Authentic. UpFront is genuine. We only say what we mean, and we do what we say we will. This commitment ensures authentic communication and information between us and those we serve, creating a balanced relationship based on trust.
Compassionate. We recognize and support each individual’s humanity and personhood. Addressing HIV and STIs can be both rewarding and heartbreaking, so we combat negative stigmas head-on by acting as living examples of compassion and understanding.
There are no events at this time, but our coalition is hard at work planning. Please contact us if you are interested in being kept up to date with upcoming activities or have ideas for consideration.
We'll hit the streets to provide education and resources to as many people in Muskegon County as possible. We’ll use our resources to create informational material, distribute prevention resources (instructions included), and educate people on being safe. We’ll work with physicians to better instruct patients. We’ll do whatever we can to reach our goal.
Join the fight! Contact us to learn more about how you can get involved!
As in any county, there are many factors that impact the health of our community:
• Low perception of risk
• Lack of insurance
• Lack of symptoms
• Lack of resources for parents and healthcare providers
• Preconceived notions about the Public Healthcare and Catholic Healthcare systems
• Mental health and/or substance abuse issues
Together, we will work to reduce these barriers to improve our community's overall health and awareness.
• Pregnant women with HIV receive HIV medicines during pregnancy and childbirth to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
• Babies born to women with HIV receive HIV medicines for 4 to 6 weeks after birth.
• The HIV medicines reduce the risk of infection from any HIV that may have entered a baby's body during childbirth.
• An HIV-positive mother can transmit HIV to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth (also called labor and delivery), or breastfeeding.
• Recent data from the CDC indicate that new HIV diagnoses among MSM increased between 2008 and 2012, with the largest increase among young MSM.
• More than half of MSM reported not being tested for HIV in the past 12 months.
• Black MSM are disproportionately impacted by HIV,accounting for 30% of MSM living with HIV and almost 40% of new HIV diagnoses among MSM.
• Youth with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be linked to care in a timely manner and have a suppressed viral load.
• At the end of 2015, an estimated 60,300 youth were living with HIV in the United States. Of these, 51% (31,000) were living with undiagnosed HIV—the highest rate of undiagnosed HIV in any age group.
• In 2015, 100 youth aged 15 to 24 died from HIV disease.
• In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the U.S. population.
• Stigma, fear, discrimination, and homophobia may place many African Americans at higher risk for HIV. Also, the poverty rate is higher among African Americans than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. These factors may explain why African Americans have worse outcomes on theHIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care and viral suppression.
• African American males have 8.6 times the AIDS rate as white males.
The places listed below can help you get tested, learn more about STIs, or find prevention resources.
- Mercy Health Prevention Practices
1700 Clinton St., Muskegon, MI 49441
(clinic entrance on Larch Street)
- Public Health of Muskegon County
209 East Apple Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442
- Planned Parenthood of Michigan
209 East Apple Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442
- McClees Clinic
1700 Clinton Street Muskegon, MI 49442
- Muskegon Teen Health Center
1170 W. Southern Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442
- Oakridge Teen Health Center
251 S. Wolf Lake Rd., Muskegon, MI 49442
- Muskegon Pregnancy Services
1775 Wells Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442
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