By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com July 23 2003 12:00 AM ET
Two Seattle groups are coordinating an HIV prevention project that targets African-American men in a key venue where blacks often gather--in barbershops, the Seattle Times reports. The project, called the "Down Low Barbershop Project" and run by the groups Brother to Brother and Shear Support, trains hairstylists as HIV educators and holds HIV prevention courses in Seattle-area barbershops. Participants in the four-hour courses are given certificates for free or discounted haircuts and money orders as incentives to learn more about HIV prevention and harm reduction. Barbers who participate in the program receive packets containing condoms, HIV prevention information, and referral information to local services to distribute to their patrons. About 15 barbershops in the Seattle area are participating in the project. Derrick Harris of Brother to Brother said the program is aimed at reducing rising HIV infection rates among black men, particularly among African-American men who have sex with other men but may not identify as gay or bisexual.