Rapid Testing at the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament
Program Type: Local Effort - Programs and/or activities that have not been evaluated but are identified by local programs as producing positive results.
This submission was collected as part of the Community Wellness Champion project.
What is the ultimate goal of your project (how do you want it to impact your community)?
To prevent the spread of HIV through education and early detection. The STI rates in the Aberdeen area are the highest in the Indian Health Service with adolescents at particular risk. Provide condoms.
What do you want participants to get out of their participation in the project?
An understanding of the facts surrounding HIV and STIs and a self assessment of the individual’s risk, desensitizing the fear of testing, removing barriers to testing, and decreasing the stigma of HIV.
What are all of your project activities or services?
There are multiple aspects and venues we use to get this message out. This specific project is to provide individual risk assessment and provide a rapid test for HIV. Many do not return for HIV test results, and the wait can cause anxiety. Rapid test results are available in 20 minutes
Where do the activities take place (i.e. school, church, health care facility)?
Gym; the Rapid City Civic Center
What is special about how you do your activities?
By having an HIV testing booth in a public place we hope to decrease the stigma surrounding HIV and make it more mainstream like blood glucose testing and blood pressure readings. To assist in desensitizing the test we made a sound booth out of double layer foam sheets and the second year we only had a screen. We had more participants the second year and reached a more at risk population the second year as well. We hope this trend continues as we go into our third year.
Who is eligible to participate in or get referred to your project?
Ages 16 and older. Our presence at the basketball tournament is an ideal location to reach a young age group, yet adults are encouraged to participate as well. The Lakota Invitational Basketball tournament reaches many Native American teams, boys and girls, family members, and spectators who attend this tournament and is an ideal way to reach a variety of people.
How do you recruit participants? If this is a community education or outreach activity, please describe the groups that you are trying to target?
There are many booths at the ball tournaments including merchandise vendors, schools, food, and health information and screenings to name a few. The tables are set up in no particular order so there is a constant flow of people walking by. We have held raffles ($100, Pendleton blanket) to attract the reluctant participant. Those who receive education and screening are given an additional raffle ticket to bring someone else back giving them a second chance to win. This helps increase our participation. Remember, we are trying to decrease the stigma of HIV and the raffle helps us by increasing participation
What communities have been involved in this project?
While we have had many venues for testing, this particular project is held at the Lakota Nation Basketball Tournament in Rapid City, thus reaching many communities.
What programs and agencies does your project partner with?
The Aberdeen Area Office, through Robin Lee’s program, and OST Health Education
How do the partners collaborate?
Robin Lee’s program has paid for the Rapid HIV tests and travel for Angie Big Crow and I to Attend. OST Health Ed helped pay for supplies for the first year’s booth. Menard’s charged us at a 50% rate for the materials the first year.
How did you build these partnerships?
Consistency, presence and an understanding of the community leads to natural bridges with other groups with similar goals. These bridges create a very dynamic program aimed at change. It is exciting, interesting and rewarding. Any one who enters this circle of care will abandon the apathy felt by the uninvolved/uninformed.
What resources are available to the community or other programs from your program?
With support of the Pine Ridge Hospital Administration, Angie Big Crow and I have removed ourselves from the walls of the hospital and provide community service. Anyone who asks us to participate in a program surrounding reproductive health (STI /HIV, prenatal, sexual assault, family planning, wellness camps…) we would be happy to provide a service; and we do. Our schedule gets tighter all the time. WE do participate in programs that occur on weekends and evenings if requested.
In addition to the services that your project provides, do you also provide other resources for individuals or communities—examples include social marketing, education, outreach, and/or consultation?
See previous answer
Where does the funding come from to support your program?
This project is funded by the Aberdeen Area Office with the help of Robin Lee. The only funding is for test kits and travel. Many of our prevention projects have no cost involved
How long has this project been going on?
I have been presenting STI awareness talks at LNI since 1996. We expanded into the current project of rapid testing in 2005
How did this project get started?
It’s amazing what happens when you simply ask!
What are some accomplishments of success that were achieved with this project?
This is hard to measure, however, our consistent success with this and related projects, and increasing venues (such as womanhood ceremonies, schools, and soon to be JDC) speaks to an acceptance of the issue and a willingness to bring the information to those most at risk. We did a similar project at Pine Ridge High School and adolescents were seeking us out for information; we must be doing something right if kids are looking for adults with questions/concerns.
What were some challenges on getting this project started or to keep going?
This is a low maintenance project that takes place once a year. As long as Aberdeen believes in our prevention efforts, it should continue. The greater challenges are the ones we face in the schools with a similar program, but that is another story
Your Own Perspective
Why do you think this project has been successful?
We have completed several projects surrounding sexual activity and the risks for HIV. There is HIV on Pine Ridge. Our project allows for people to receive education and have a test with results in 20 minutes. It is not uncommon for people being tested to be really worried for those 20 minutes. Additionally, the set up lets them say they just wanted to win the prize and allows them to keep their privacy intact. This project is also a lot of fun.
What are you most proud of or excited about in terms of this project?
Prevention goes a long way and I am certain that we have made a difference however immeasurable this may be. As casual as this project is and the severity of the topic makes this project feel necessary. The fears are real and we have less fear if we have information and we increase access if we are enjoying what we do.
What advice would you give to someone trying to start a similar project in their own community?
Provide the degree of privacy necessary to ask sensitive and personal questions. Don’t be shocked by what you hear and don’t pass judgment. Be prepared for a positive test result – have a plan.
Adolescents, Adults, Elderly
Community, Clinic/Health Center
Infectious Disease, HIV/AIDS
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