In 2020 and 2021, the QOC partnered with the STAR (Stigma and Resilience) Coalition, where, amongst other activities, we worked collaboratively with STAR Coalition members to develop a stigma reduction readiness assessment tool. The tool is intended for use by HIV medical and supportive service providers to assess organizational capacity to initiate a stigma reduction program using scientific implementation or other strategies. It is intended to assist these providers in identifying areas to strengthen before implementing a stigma reduction program to increase the likelihood of program success.
The STAR Coalition is a collaboration of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), New York State Department of Health (DOH), HIV Planning Group (HPG), and the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies and the Northeast-Caribbean Aids Education and Training Center, both at Columbia University. Members from these groups make up the Project Leadership responsible for organizing all project work. The goal is to involve agencies, groups, and individuals who are committed to reducing stigmas that work against optimal HIV prevention, care, and treatment. As part of the national initiative to end the HIV Epidemic (EtE), This Coalition guided the work of 4 Project Arms Mapping NYC Stigma-reduction Initiatives, Compendium of Successful Stigma-reduction Approaches, STAR Project Town Hall, Stigma and Drivers. The Project Arms will explore what HIV-related organizations in New York City are doing to address multiple stigmas and how that work interconnects with HIV prevention and care across the city.
The primary focus of the Coalition is on stigmas that interfere with optimal HIV prevention and treatment. This may be HIV stigma, but other stigmas, such as those related to ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, mental health, and substance use, also can affect HIV prevention and treatment.