A new Community Advisory Board (CAB) of women of color ages 18-24 has been formed to address and implement innovative strategies to reduce the high rates of STDs among young women of color in Los Angeles County.
CAB members are working together to help raise their voices and sound the alarm about the critical interventions and measures needed to address and reduce the high number of cases of STDs among young women of color and others in LAC. Formed in part because of a significant lack of resources and community-based approaches to reduce STDs, including HIV, Project Fierce hopes to expose the dire need for more service and systems-change interventions for young cis and transgender women of color in LAC.
Addressing the Social Determinants of Health
The data clearly indicates that STDs, including HIV disproportionately affect marginalized communities—driven largely by social determinants of health. In LAC, multiple social determinants of health drive the local STD and HIV epidemics, including structural racism, intersecting oppressions, incarceration, homelessness, discrimination, poverty, and lack of access to culturally appropriate services., Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has exacerbated these existing barriers to care, resulting in limited screening, diagnosis and treatment opportunities, and potentially leading to ongoing STD transmission, especially for Black and Latinx young people. Left untreated, STDs can leave a lasting impact on an entire generation—causing infertility, pregnancy complications, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, birth defects, and an up to 5-fold increased risk of HIV transmission.
The CAB will join forces with other community members, community service organizations and local public leaders to advocate for increased resources to address this epidemic.
Project Fierce is led by partners Coachman Moore & Associates, Inc., Children's Hospital Los Angeles and fiscal agent Community Health Councils. Inc. As a foundational partner and funder, the LA County Department of Public Health’s Division of HIV and STD Programs continues to anchor this new effort along with support from the Center for Health Equity, the LA County Commission on HIV and Essential Access Health.
 National Coalition of STD Directors handout, https://www.ncsddc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/STD-101_NCSD-STD-Handout-1.3-DIGITAL-1.pdf