ANTHC HIV/STD Prevention 
Program Newsletter
Winter 2020
Hello! Camai! Wáa sá iyatée! 
"Learn, preserve, and be proud of the Native way of life." -Bristol Bay Yup'ik Value
Greetings from the ANTHC HIV/STD Prevention Program, home of 

Be sure to follow us on  Instagram Twitter and Facebook Also, you can contact us anytime at [email protected] Taikuu ! Quyana! Gunalcheesh!
I Want the Kit (IWTK) is Temporarily Unavailable offers a free at-home STD testing kit service in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. IWTK is temporarily unavailable due to lab closure surrounding COVID-19. For those who have placed orders for a kit since January 1, please hold off on sending in specimens. Please see your health care provider for STD testing. For updates please contact [email protected]
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, March 20
On March 20 we recognize National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). NNHAAD is a time to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS among Alaska Native, American Indian (AN/AI) and Native Hawaiian people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NNHAAD is observed during the Spring Equinox every year because it "represents equality, balance, and new beginnings; a celebration of life for all people."

In 2017, there were 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Among those, 167 were AN/AI men; 45 were AN/AI women; and nearly 9 in 10 men who received an HIV diagnoses were gay or bisexual. Between 2010 to 2016, HIV diagnoses among AN/AI gay and bisexual men has increased 81%. What's more, 10% of diagnoses among AN/AI males was linked with injection drug use. 11% of diagnoses was associated with male-to-male sexual contact. Out of the AN/AI females diagnosed with HIV, 31% of diagnoses were associated with injection drug use, and 69% were associated with heterosexual contact. Learn more about HIV among AN/AI people from the CDC

We can put an end to HIV by talking openly about STDs and HIV with our friends and family, disclosing status with sexual partners, using condoms correctly each and every time with sex, and getting tested for STDs regularly. The CDC recommends getting tested at least once a year for STDs and HIV. Most STDs don't have symptoms, so the only way to know if someone has an STD is by getting tested. Learn more now about HIV/AIDS with Urban Indigenous people, and access a free documentary highlighting lives of Native people living with HIV

Undetectable = Untransmittable

In the past, many have feared HIV and AIDS, as there was little knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Now, health professionals and individuals are well equipped to prevent HIV within our communities. Undetectable = Untransmittable is a campaign to help educate people about HIV transmission. U=U means that people who have HIV and receive antiretroviral therapy (a medicine to help keep a person healthy) and have achieved and maintained an undetectable viral load, cannot sexually transmit the virus to others. U=U means hope. U=U means healthy Native families and communities. U=U means #ScienceNotStigma. We encourage you to have conversations about HIV, stigma, and how U=U can prevent HIV among our communities.
We Recognized February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
"Be kind to other people." -Traditional Value of the Unangax
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM), a time to bring light to the health issue of dating violence that youth face every day. Governor Dunleavey has recognized TDVAM In Alaska, "whereas, all Alaskans have the right to experience a healthy and safe relationship, free of abuse; and it is of utmost importance that adequate education about healthy relationships be available to Alaska's youth..." 

One in 10 high school students has experienced sexual violence (being forced by anyone to do sexual acts) during the past year (YRBS, 2017). And more than 7% of high school aged students have experienced physical dating violence. What's more, over 1 in 5 of youth have experienced bullying on school property in 2017. We should also recognize the increase in cyber or electronic bullying, which nearly 20% of youth have experienced in 2017. See here for more about the Alaska YRBS

February is a time to recognize the negative health effects of different types of abuse that children and youth face. Youth are in a vulnerable time of their lives, with their brains developing until age 25, and experiences shape their learned behaviors. What's more, youth naturally face social pressures of friends while navigating choices like substance use, family roles, dating, and life goals. Additionally, it is important to be aware that the use of alcohol and other substances are linked with increased risk for unhealthy behaviors, such as condomless sex, and acts of violence ( more here). Having conversations with youth about these topics is not easy, but we must educate our youth in order to put an end to violence. We must not just recognize this in February, but every month of the year! For questions or resources contact [email protected]
U.S. Department of Justice Launches National Strategy to Address Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons
The United States Department of Justice has launched a national strategy to address missing and murdered American Indians through the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative. Attorney General William P. Barr has acknowledged the high rates of violence that Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) people face, particularly AN/AI women. Intimate partner violence involves the behaviors of physical or sexual violence, stalking, or psychological aggression. According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, there were 5,712 cases of MMIWG reported in 2016. Murder is the third leading cause of death among AN/AI women. Read more here

The national strategy to address MMIP encompasses FBI response capabilities, improved data collection (reporting MMIP), and training to support such efforts. The Department of Justice is offering $1.5 million to hire 11 MMIP coordinators in 11 states, and Alaska is one of those states. We can put an end to violence by talking about the issue with our friends, families and colleagues, and educating ourselves on the various ways violence can occur. Violence is not our culture. 

Resources and how to put an end to violence: 
COVID-19: Prevention
Photo courtesy: Anchorage Health Department
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an outbreak of the respiratory disease COVID-19, or the coronavirus.  Some symptoms of COVID-19 include  fever , cough , and shortness of breath . Symptoms range from mild to severe. A good way to prevent the spread of the virus and any sickness is to wash your hands! Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Some good times to wash your cleans include before and after you eat meals, after you were in a public place (like a grocery store or restaurant), or coughing or sneezing. You can also use hand sanitizer to clean your hands if you can't immediately wash them. Try not to touch your face as this is a way that germs are spread. Also, The CDC recommends avoiding contact with large groups of people. The Alaska Native Health Campus in Anchorage has cancelled all events until May 1 to reduce spread of COVID-19. Additionally, you might consider r e-thinking watching a movie at the theater , going to the mall , and attending/hosting any gatherings . Even if your immune system is healthy and strong and you can fight off sickness, that does not mean you won't pass the virus to someone else who is higher risk, such as an elder. Let's work together to keep our communities healthy and strong! 

Please note that there may be a delay in orders through should staff members work from home in light of issues surrounding COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources
Trainings and Collaboration Opportunities
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) offers Trans & Gender Affirming Care ECHO
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) invites healthcare providers to join the Trans & Gender Affirming Care ECHO. The 12 session virtual training curriculum will ensure registered providers have the resources they need to create affirming clinical environments and provide appropriate healthcare for Two Spirit, trans, and genderqueer patients. The sessions will include continuing education credits. Access more info. Register now!
Clinical STD Update: May 7, 2020, Live Web Stream

The Mountain West AETC and University of Washington STD Prevention Training Center are hosting the Clinical STD Update on May 7 through live web stream. The Clinical STD Update course provides training in the most recent advancements in epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of viral and bacterial STDs. Register by April 30.

Visit to access free educational materials and access multiple health topics. 


Find culturally and age-appropriate health curricula at

Connect with Us
For more information, contact Jaclynne Richards, ANTHC HIV/STD Prevention Program: (907) 729-2971, or [email protected].