Schweitzer Fellows Alison Footman and Josh Bruce in the Department of Health Behavior completed their fellowship at Birmingham AIDS Outreach.

Josh and Alison provided free HIV tests to over 1400 people in 6 different communities across Jefferson County using BAO’s mobile testing unit. By using the unit, they were able to provide confidential HIV counseling and education while testing. They were able to expand outreach measures to include women’s shelters, bus stations, comedy clubs, universities, community events, adult bookstores, and local businesses, forming new relationships with other community organizations.

As a result of their efforts:

  • Increased HIV testing
  • Linked 4 HIV positive cases to care
  • Developed questionnaires to evaluate user’s experience and preferences in visiting the mobile testing unit
  • Created protocols for other BAO staff when using the mobile testing unit

Birmingham AIDS Outreach will continue to utilize the mobile testing unit in providing free HIV tests across Jefferson County with the goal of expanding outreach to surrounding counties.

“Through the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Alison and I have been able to approach utilizing the testing unit from a public health context. I have learned many things during the fellowship and expanded my work experience in areas I was unfamiliar with before. I have grown as a public health practitioner and now BAO has a sustainable mobile testing project that will continue from now on.” - Josh Bruce

“Through this experience I have learned about the importance of partnerships between community organizations and universities in working together to improve the health of communities. Working with BAO has inspired me to continue working with community organizations once I finish school. One day, I hope to provide students with similar opportunities that challenge them to engage and work with their surrounding communities the way that the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship along with BAO has done for me.” - Alison Footman

Congratulations Josh and Alison!

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