HPCP is part of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. We serve as facilitator of the HIV prevention and care community planning process in Pennsylvania. The project also provides technical assistance to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, community based agencies, and healthcare providers. You can also click here to learn more about our project.
Current initiatives include:
Acceptance Journeys is a social marketing campaign geared towards addressing and reducing stigma associated with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.
The project invites individuals outside of the LGBTQ community to share their stories of love and acceptance of someone who is LGBTQ. Individuals' photos and journeys are published on the Acceptance Journeys – Pittsburgh website,www.journey2acceptpgh.org.
Project Silk is a recreation-based community health center for young men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women of color. The first space opened in 2013 and offers a variety of services:
- HIV/STI testing, counseling, and referral
- Housing assistance
- Employment assistance
- Mental health services
- Linkage to medical care
- PrEP referral
- For a Final Report of Project Silk, 2013—2015, please open this document
Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, the project is implemented by Community Health Services. HPCP maintains a role in evaluation, technical assistance, and diffusion of innovations.
2016 saw the expansion of Project Silk with a new location set to open soon in Allentown, PA.
For a needs assessment initially supporting the implementation of Project Silk, please open this document.
Our mission is to facilitate HIV planning in Pennsylvania and support scientifically-based interventions to reduce HIV infection rates and lower morbidity and mortality associated with HIV and AIDS.
Our work is guided by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The needs of local communities are met through a unique collaboration of government, academic, and community stakeholders representing a multidisciplinary approach to HIV prevention and care.
Founder of the original Pennsylvania Prevention Project in 1994, Dr. Silvestre served as Principle Investigator through its current incarnation as the HIV Prevention and Care Project (HPCP) until 2018. Involved in HIV work since 1982, he he helped establish a GRID (an early name for what is now HIV/AIDS) prevention program in Philadelphia. In 1984, he began working with the world's first major HIV epidemiological study among gay and bisexual men - the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which had four sites. He is currently a co-investigator at the Pittsburgh site- the Pitt Men’s Study. Dr. Silvestre was a cofounder of the Southwest PA AIDS Coalition, the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, and the Pennsylvania Coalition of AIDS Service Organizations among other groups. He is a Co-Director of the Center for Research on LGBT Health, teaches a course on Human Diversity and Public Health, is a Co-Director of LGBT Health and Wellness Certificate program, and volunteers for numerous HIV and community groups. His current academic work includes behavioral interventions and HIV, mindful meditation and other alternative therapies to reduce stress and improve the immune system, and LGBT health.
For more information please visit his page at the University.
Dr. Friedman joined the team in November 2005. As Director of Project Silk, his current work focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating a CDC-funded HIV prevention demonstration project with the local House and Ball Community. A native of Chicago, Dr. Friedman received his BA (English) from the University of Minnesota and his MPH (Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Certificate (LGBT Health and Wellness), and PhD (Behavioral and Community Health Sciences) from the University of Pittsburgh. He has worked in HIV prevention for the last 18 years, working primarily with injection drug users, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and homeless and runaway youth. His current extramural research efforts focus on health disparities among behaviorally bisexual males; the context of male and transgender sex work; and the evaluation of social marketing campaigns intended to reduce stigma.
For more information please visit his page at the University.
Dr. Krier joined the HIV Prevention and Care Project (HPCP) in 2013. As Research Specialist, her current work focuses on planning and conducting state-wide HIV comprehensive needs assessments of high-risk populations, implementing a social marketing campaign intended to reduce stigma, and serving as process evaluator for Project Silk, a CDC-funded HIV prevention demonstration project targeting African American young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and young transgender (YTG) individuals in Pittsburgh. Dr. Krier holds a PhD (Anthropology), MPH (Behavioral and Community Health Sciences), Doctoral Certificate (Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality), Advanced Certificate (Asian Studies), and a Graduate Certificate (Global Health) from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA (Women’s Studies) from Oberlin College. She has worked in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and infectious disease for over ten years as a medical anthropologist and public health worker in the US, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. As a Fulbright scholar and NSEP Boren Fellow, Dr. Krier’s doctoral fieldwork studied Muslim women’s use of herbal indigenous medicine for reproductive and sexual health purposes in Central Java, Indonesia. As part of an interdisciplinary postdoctoral training fellowship in global health at Case Western Reserve University funded by the US National Institute of Health, Dr. Krier conducted research on lymphatic filariasis in the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Throughout her career, Dr. Krier plans on using her interdisciplinary skill sets to analyze issues related to the transmission and treatment of infectious diseases, and to develop, evaluate and adapt socially and culturally appropriate health projects.
For more information please visit her page at the University.
David joined the project in 2011 and currently supports the HIV Prevention and Care Project in administrative, community outreach and education, and state liaison capacities. Serving the HPCP combines his passions for education, community health, and social justice with his enthusiasm for helping departments run smoothly.
David earned Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Central Florida in both Philosophy & Humanities and Religious Studies, and received his Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Religious Studies. He earned his PhD focusing on the relationship among components of sexuality, religious, and gendered identity within Christian denominations in America. His other research interests include the intersection of spirituality and health outcomes.
Brian started as an Intervention Specialist with Project Silk in September of 2013. He moved to Pittsburgh from North Carolina, where he received his master’s degree in public health from the Department of Health Behavior at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Brian has been involved in HIV counseling and testing for two years, volunteering as a counselor and coordinator for a student-run HIV testing clinic in Carrboro, North Carolina. He also worked on a Capstone project during his time in graduate school where he pilot tested a curriculum promoting healthy dating relationships among UNC undergraduates in both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. Brian is interested in both HIV prevention and LGBTQ health, as well as program evaluation.
Luis has been with the University of Pittsburgh since 2011 where he worked for the Graduate School of Public Health as a Bilingual Research Assistant for the pilot research project “Latino Engagement Group for Salud” L.E.G.S. where he provided counseling, guidance and conducted needs assessments for Latino families in Allegheny County. He joined the project in 2013 and currently supports the HIV Prevention and Care Project in community outreach and education.
Luis earned his Bachelors of Science degree from Geneva College in Human Resources Management, and received his Masters of Science degree also from Geneva College in the concentration of Organizational Leadership Studies. He plans on pursuing his PhD focusing on Health Services Research and Policy. His other research interests include the positive impact that social media and personal interactions have in a community.
Scott has been with the University of Pittsburgh since December 2001. Responsibilities have included: Needs assessment and prevention research targeting HIV+ individuals; Identifying HIV primary prevention curriculum; Assessing capacity of HIV primary care clinics to implement HIV prevention programs; and Facilitating Pennsylvania’s HIV Community Planning process. Currently, he is developing and delivering training curriculum for HIV providers across the state as part of the Capacity Building Program. He also maintains www.stophiv.com. Mr. Arrowood also has background experience in children and family services including casework, foster parent recruitment and training, and clinical supervision. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Christopher Newport University in 1994 and a Master in Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1995. Originally a native of Hampton Roads, Virginia, he has lived in Pittsburgh for a cumulative 15 years.
Corrine joined the HPCP in October 2017. She supports the project in community outreach, planning, and capacity building. A native to Pennsylvania, Corrine received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and received her Master’s degree in Public Health from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Corrine intends to utilize her skills to identify high risk populations and provide education and information regarding preventable diseases.
Debra is the capacity building director of the HIV Care and Prevention Project. Her responsibilities include serving as a resource to the State Department of Health's HIV/AIDS Division in its promotion High Impact Prevention and related capacity building needs. This includes training and technical assistance services. She also coordinates the project’s faith based initiative, Common Ground. Mrs. Dennison holds a BS degree in School Health, K-12, from the State University of New York at Cortland and a MS public health degree in Community Health Education, from the University of Massachusetts.
Greg joined the team as a Research Specialist in 1997. He came to the Project as a data analyst and data solutions developer. He has over 25 years experience as a systems developer.
David has been involved in information technologies for over twenty years, joining HPCP in that general capacity in 2005. His duties include maintaining HPCP’s IT infrastructure, performing system analysis, and contributing general technological and network expertise. A native Pittsburgher, he and his wonderful wife are the proud parents of two terrific children.
Debra (DJ) Stemmler is currently working as the Office Administrator for the HIV Prevention and Care Project. She worked previously as the Administrator for UPMC’s Center for Assistive Technology (CAT), the Grants and Contracts Manager for The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) and Program Manager for The Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL). She has a Bachelor’s degree from Chatham College in Human Services Administration and Associate degree in Occupational Therapy from Mount Aloysius. Ms. Stemmler is a lifelong advocate for disability and civil rights issues and has committed most of her personal and professional life to ensuring equal access for people with disabilities to services, housing, employment and education. She is the 2003 recipient of the EP Maxwell Schleifer Distinguished Service Award.
Ray joined the team as a consultant in 2006, providing technical writing assistance and media-related support. In 2007, he became a full time staff member and was assigned the task of creating an online HIV education and outreach program for men who have sex with men. Utilizing his communication and media-related skills, Mr. Yeo is now responsible for maintaining an Internet-based intervention that provides HIV/STD education regarding testing and Partner Services in online communities such as Facebook, Craigslist, and Grindr. Mr. Yeo received a BA in English Writing and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006.
Mike joined HPCP in the middle of 2017. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a minor in Theatre Arts from The University of Pittsburgh. His primary responsibility is managing the day to day operations and overall coordination of the HPCP. His duties include email and supply management, tracking expenses, maintaining office protocol and records, and facilitating coordination between staff and research investigators.
In his spare time, Mike likes to dedicate himself to theatre and the arts by performing, seeing shows, and working part time at The Pittsburgh Public Theater. His interests include films, the science and making of wine, graphic design, and finding good restaurants to eat at.
Professional Opportunity at HPCP
Our culturally diverse staff is motivated, in large part, by their personal experiences with HIV and AIDS. Staff members bring an abiding respect for the worth and dignity of humanity, especially marginalized and disenfranchised peoples. HPCP gives priority to the personal and professional growth of its employees and all others with whom staff interact.