Children & Families Connection

December 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to NASW-TN’s new e-newsletter. This is a monthly publication focused on supporting your work with children & families in Tennessee. Monthly issues are emailed to our members and shared with the public through our Facebook page and website. Each issue includes a theme for that month, the latest information and research related to children & families, as well as tools and resources you can use in your practice.
December is AIDS Awareness Month!
AIDS Awareness Month is a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

According to, more than one million Americans are living with HIV, but one in five of them are not aware they are infected. While the total number of people with HIV in the United States has increased recently, the annual number of new infections has remained relatively stable.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds us that HIV has not gone away – every 9.5 minutes someone in the U.S. is infected. There is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education. It also serves as a prime opportunity to remind people of how important it is to get tested and to know your results.

HIV and AIDS affects us all. Persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS often experience a range of health problems, as well as economic, social and environmental barriers that can impact a person’s mental health and psychosocial wellness. Social workers have the skills, opportunity, and commitment to engage clients in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment utilizing a comprehensive bio-psycho-social approach. This document provides NASW resources that can assist you in your work at the individual and systems level to end HIV/AIDS.

Click the button below to access a list of some resources NASW provides related to HIV & AIDS:
NASW-TN Member Profile:
Robin Lennon-Dearing is a proud member of NASW-TN and currently works in an academic setting and provides teaching and instruction to social work students at the University of Memphis. She is a social work researcher who focuses on issues faced by populations that are vulnerable, marginalized and underserved, including public policies that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. She is currently studying the effects of HIV criminal laws on people who have been arrested for “HIV crimes” in Tennessee to inform the public and policymakersabout this issue.


May 8, 2019 | MEMPHIS, TN

President Donald Trump wants to stop the spread of HIV in the U.S. within the next 10 years, and Memphis is one of the cities that's being targeted.That's because the area has some of the highest rates of new cases in the country. Memphis is now eighth in the country when it comes to new transmissions of HIV.

When James Sanderson was diagnosed with HIV some 20 years ago it was considered a death sentence. Today, his viral levels are so low the disease is now undetectable, meaning the virus cannot be passed to anyone, he said.
But that's not a message that seems to be hitting home with young people in the Mid-South.

The latest numbers from the CDC show 690 per 100,000 people in Memphis and Shelby County are living with HIV. That compares to just 93 per 100,000 in the Nashville area and 280 per 100,000 nationwide.
Even more disturbing is the fact that in 2017 most of those diagnosed with HIV were between 15-34 years of age. Some were as young as 13.

July 23, 2019 | MEMPHIS, TN

The Shelby County Commission approved $2,425,000 in federal funds Monday for HIV programs. 

Organizations selected to receive the funds all have histories of helping the community with issues related to HIV and individuals who live with it. 

Each program benefits the community differently, from providing education on HIV to helping with housing for those with the virus.
With the approved funding, these organizations will be able to serve individuals who are impacted with HIV infection, said Alisa Haushalter, Director of the Shelby County Health Department. 

"It's very targeted and tailored to the needs of Shelby County," said Haushalter.  

Read more to see the programs selected, their approved amounts, and what they will do.

In 2017, there were 146 individuals who were newly diagnosed with HIV in Nashville and Davidson County. While the number of new HIV cases in Nashville is lower today than any year since 1989, and the number is down from its peak of 436 in 1992, there is still much work to accomplish in the fight against HIV.

The data presented in Chapter 2 of the Plan sets the charge: major progress in reducing new diagnoses has slowed and the number of Davidson County residents living with HIV today totals more than 4,100 (national modelling predicts there may be as many as 720 additional residents of Davidson County that are unaware they are living with HIV). As long as the recent trends continue, so too will the HIV epidemic.

Cempa Community Care on Wednesday celebrated the launch of its new mobile clinic, which will allow the Chattanooga-based nonprofit to take its comprehensive services for those with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections to rural communities across southeast Tennessee.

Those visiting the mobile clinic will have access to hepatitis C and HIV treatment, including pre-exposure prophylaxis — often called "PrEP" for short. PrEP is a medication that greatly reduces the chance of contracting HIV in individuals at high risk of exposure to the virus.

"By working in conjunction with a wide range of community partners, we have a great opportunity with the mobile clinic to reach, assist and support an increasing number of vulnerable populations and regions," Shannon Stephenson, CEO of Cempa, said in a news release.

Loni Howard, mobile clinic coordinator at Cempa, said the organization currently serves the 10 surrounding Tennessee counties, but patients in those communities often lack transportation or have other barriers to care. "Offering this mobile clinic to those rural counties will allow us to serve more people and allow them to get the care they need," Howard said.

Want to present on a social work topic in 2020?

We are currently developing our Continuing Education calendar for 2020 and looking for presenters!

Free civil legal help is available through resources provided by Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services.Visit or call 1-844-HELP4TN to talk to an experienced Tennessee attorney for free legal advice and referrals.
NASW, Tennessee Chapter helps support the inclusion of information on social services through this website.
Free, one-stop resource for TN families to raise healthy and happy kids. kidcentral tn features articles on health, education, development and more. It also includes a searchable directory for state-sponsored services for children &families.

The site is maintained by the Tennessee Commission and Children and Youth.
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