A $5.2 million federal grant will be used to establish the nation's first HIV prevention institute, to be housed at the University of South Carolina, to help educate people on the front lines of HIV/AIDS prevention work, The [Columbia, S.C.] State reports. The three-year grant will establish the institute at the Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health. Donna Richter, a professor of public health who spearheaded efforts to establish the institute, says a large focus of the prevention training will be on addressing HIV/AIDS at the community level. "People are more comfortable getting prevention messages from someone they know and trust," she said.
Richter and her colleagues spent the past three years fine-tuning plans for the institute through a pilot prevention program that has trained nearly 100 participants from 29 states and territories. Over the course of nine months, participants were instructed on how to evaluate existing HIV/AIDS prevention programs and to develop services that will do the most good in their communities.