Pee Dee S.H.A.P.E. Initiative Seeks Members and Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 4, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is announcing the launch of the Pee Dee Sexual Health Awareness, (STI) Prevention, and Education (S.H.A.P.E.) initiative. This initiative joins sister S.H.A.P.E. efforts in the Upstate, Lowcountry, and Midlands and is actively seeking members and partners interested in helping end the epidemic of STD/HIV in the Pee Dee, which disproportionately impact African Americans and communities of color in South Carolina.
The work of each S.H.A.P.E. effort in SC is unique to the community it serves. The Pee Dee S.H.A.P.E. initiative will bring together community-based organizations, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, individuals, and other stakeholders so that they can share resources and best practices to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including syphilis, viral hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV/AIDS among groups of people most at risk.
“We are very excited to be launching S.H.A.P.E. in the Pee Dee,” said DHEC Pee Dee community systems director Suzette McClellan. “We’ve seen S.H.A.P.E. in other regions of the state provide a voice to people living with HIV while providing action and structure for anyone interested in ending the STD/HIV epidemic. We look forward to growing this initiative in our Pee Dee communities.”
S.H.A.P.E. efforts are guided by a mission, vision, values, and initiative goals designed to reduce risk and rates of sexually transmitted infections and to reduce sexual health disparities within and across specific populations. The partnerships and collaborations that form the basis of the Pee Dee S.H.A.P.E. initiative are integral to its success and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to join.
“The more people we have the better,” said McClellan. “There is a lot of work to be done and we can’t do it alone. Working with healthcare providers, non-profit organizations, and people living with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections is fundamental to achieving our goals.”
A virtual meet and greet for Pee Dee SHAPE Initiative will take place on February 16th from 11:30 am-12:45 pm. Call (843) 687-6985 to receive a registration link. Find out more about the Pee Dee S.H.A.P.E. initiative here.