Rhode Island Community Planning Group for HIV Prevention (RICPG)

The Rhode Island Community Planning Group (RICPG) for HIV Prevention includes a diverse group of community members who are working together to help prevent and end the spread of HIV infection in Rhode Island. Members include people living with HIV/AIDS, their partners and families, service providers, state department representatives, and other concerned citizens.

The Rhode Island Department of Health works closely with the RICPG as an advisory and learning collaborative on prevention and care matters related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and viral hepatitis, and other sexual health matters. In 1994, the HEALTH Office of HIV/AIDS & Viral Hepatitis established the RICPG through a mandate of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Mission

The mission of the RICPG is to empower the community to promote changes related to HIV prevention and planning through parity, representation, and inclusion.

The RICPG assesses HIV prevention needs for Rhode Island, sets prevention priorities for the state, and develops and maintains a state Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plan to reduce the incidence of HIV infection.

Accomplishments

The RICPG has played a key role in many important changes in Rhode Island, including:

Elimination of Barriers

  • The availability of anonymous HIV testing.
  • The creation of a needle exchange program.
  • The creation of unique personal identifiers (which allows for greater confidence in the interpretation of HIV data).

Strategic Testing

The RICPG has also helped to plan the locations of testing sites and identify priority populations, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 19-39, women of color, young people, youth MSM, and intravenous drug users. Within all target populations, special focus is placed on people of color and people who do not know their HIV status.

How to Get Involved

Attend RICPG meetings, address issues and share concerns, or become a member. Contact a CPG co-chair for more information.