Today, African Americans remain disproportionately impacted by HIV despite advancements in testing and care. In urban neighborhoods and communities, these racial disparities are even more pronounced. Realizing the need for a comprehensive, community-based approach to addressing the epidemic, Dr. Amy Nunn, an assistant professor at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, established Do One Thing, Change Everything. Launched in Philadelphia in 2012, the campaign’s main objectives are to diagnose and link as many individuals as possible to care, and to reduce the racial disparities in HIV. Do One Thing also strives to create a replicable neighborhood-based approach that can be used in other urban areas.
Dr. Nunn used AIDSVu’s city-level maps of Philadelphia HIV prevalence to identify areas with the highest rates and cases of HIV. The maps allowed her to look at overall rates, as well as filter by race/ethnicity to understand the racial disparities in different parts of the city. During its pilot phase, Do One Thing tested 3,000 people, a 15-fold increase in testing in the neighborhood. The full campaign mobilizes community leaders and organizations to destigmatize testing and educate people about prevention and linkage-to-care, initiates block-by-block testing of critically impacted neighborhoods, and works in partnership with a local federally qualified health center (FQHC) to offer routine screening to all patients.
Dr. Nunn’s research and findings were featured in the May 2014 American Journal of Public Health, and included AIDSVu’s Philadelphia maps to help illustrate the need for an extensive neighborhood-based program. Since 2012, Do One Thing has expanded into HCV screening and awareness, and continues to reach individuals across Philadelphia’s highly impacted neighborhoods.