NaviGAYte Brooklyn! takes to the streets to inform LGBTQ community about safe sex
A small group of people is hitting the streets of Brooklyn every day to educate members of the LGBTQ community about safe sex.
CAMBA's NaviGAYte Brooklyn! is funded through a grant which helps offer services for free or at low cost in the hopes of saving lives.
"Statistics say that men of color have the higher number of new infections for HIV and high risk and Latino community because they're the second one in high risk for becoming infected with HIV or any STIs,” says Luis Alberto Medina-Caviedes, of NaviGAYte Brooklyn!.
For three years, thanks to a grant from the NYC Department of Health and partnership with the nonprofit CAMBA, staff has done street outreach.
NaviGAYte Brooklyn! also offers their services online.
Organizers say a big part of the program is getting the public informed about all the HIV prevention services like prEP and PEP.
“PEP is post exposure prophylactic. It's a treatment for 28 days that people can take being that they were exposed for HIV, they have within 72 hours and prep is a pre-exposure prophylactic, it's a daily pill that they can take to prevent becoming HIV positive,” says Medina-Caviedes.
Through their work they say they are battling stigmas of homosexuality and HIV.
“It's always the fear of ‘oh, what would people say if I go, would they make my information public,’ and these are type of questions that one shouldn't fear of asking,” says Christopher Lopez, of NaviGAYte Brooklyn!.
The staff at NaviGAYte Brooklyn! works around the clock to inform their clients.
“For me this is something that I really love to do and it doesn't matter how long I've been working in the day, how tired I am, if I at the end can get ‘hey thank you for everything that you did for me,’ this is really, really grateful for me,” says Lopez.