The G.U.Y.S. Program
(Guys Understanding Your Situation)
What We Do: The G.U.Y.S. Program is a health education/risk reduction intervention designed to reduce high-risk sexual and drug behaviors among substance-using gay men and non-gay identified men who have sex with men, with women, and with transgender women. The program provides a continuum of culturally appropriate services from street-based outreach encounters to site-based groups and one-on-one interventions that work concomitantly to motivate ongoing and sustained HIV risk reductions. Most specifically the intervention targets sexual risk behaviors that are most likely to occur while using methamphetamine, particularly unprotected anal intercourse as well as exchange sex risks and injection drug risks.
The program offers a daily meal as well as a daily group. Program participants contribute art, poetry and prose to our street-based ‘zine, Twacked: A ‘Zine from the Guys of the Boulevard created and published by Friends Community Center. Our experience using art with active users has demonstrated that hands-on art exploration provides an opportunity for participants to closely identify their feelings and work toward better understanding their high-risk behaviors. The art exploration groups offer a space to cultivate the voices of the participants and express their life experiences through art. These groups provide a context for creative expression, ongoing discussions and peer support. Within the context of making art, participants are given the opportunity to emotionally grasp their behaviors in a protected, non-threatening setting.
Program participants are gay men, or non-gay identified men who have sex with men, women, and/or transgenders and who are active substance users; many are in a marginal or transitional living situation.
Hours: Weekdays, 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Funding Source: This program is funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and sponsored by Friends Research Institute, Inc.