Black Treatment Advocates Network
The Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN) is the only collaboration of its kind that links Black Americans with HIV into care and treatment, strengthens local and national leadership, connects influential peers, raises HIV science and treatment literacy in Black communities and advocates for policy change and research priorities.
BTAN is part of a commitment by the Black AIDS Institute to help raise HIV science and literacy in Black communities. BTAN is guided by the premise that when people understand the science of HIV/AIDS they are:
The mission of BTAN is to produce and support a nationwide network of highly trained Black treatment advocates who will (1) serve as educators and opinion leaders in their communities; (2) provide a pipeline of trained Black Americans for community advisory boards; (3) facilitate expanded Black participation in clinical trials; (4) increase early utilization of appropriate treatment; and (5) improve treatment adherence in Black communities.
The goal of BTAN is to cultivate and support a national network of Black Treatment Advocates/Educators equipped with knowledge and skills to:
Through BTAN, the Institute is creating an army of trained treatment educators and advocates in Black communities across the country. To date, the local BTANs have trained nearly 1,000 Black treatment educators/advocates.
With strong advocates, a recognized brand and proven reach and impact, BTAN is uniquely positioned to influence and change the impact of HIV in Black communities. 2013 programming will focus on increased programming within the National Network and developing infrastructure for local Networks that leads to increased impact and outcomes while increasing BTAN membership nationally.
Local Networks consists of community-based AIDS service organizations who attend the local BTAN trainings. After the local training, Networks develop a strategic action plan that responds to the HIV/AIDS science, treatment, policy and advocacy needs of their local community. The Black AIDS Institute provides pilot program funding and technical assistance to support the implementation of the Local Network's community action plan that is developed out of the local training.
In 2010, BTAN began working in three cities: Houston, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2011, networks were expanded to Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California. In 2012, BTAN was excited to expand into Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. BTAN's intensive HIV science and advocacy trainings consist of two three-day sessions covering a wide range of HIV/AIDS topics including testing resources, treatment strategies, linkage to care and community mobilization, among others. The year 2013 will see BTAN expand to additional cities.
BTAN is a partnership between the Black AIDS Institute and Merck.