MENTORS (Middle East Natives, Testing, Orientation and Referral Services)

Award Recipients - 2004

Wahba I. Ghaly, Founder

Middle East Natives, Testing, Orientation and Referral Services (MENTORS) is an Arab American organization dedicated to increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and promoting sexuality education, reproductive health and other human rights for the Middle Eastern community in New York --an extremely diverse population including Muslims, Christians and Jews from 22 countries and Arab Americans born and raised in this country.  Established in 1999, MENTORS focuses on HIV prevention encouraging self-protection from infection and dispelling common misconceptions.  The organization’s Arabic-speaking staff works with high-risk groups such as intravenous drug users, MSM, people who have already test HIV positive and youth.

Mentors providers HIV education, counseling, case management, community-level interventions, peer leadership development, translation m and social and legal service referrals.  Many learn about the organization from the Department of Health with whom MENTORS is listed as a service resource that provides culturally competent counseling and multilingual materials.  MENTORS conducts HIV prevention workshops for high-risk groups and young people as mosques, churches and Islamic schools and addresses issues concerning women’s reproductive health, domestic violence and immigration status for which the organization provides social and legal service referrals.  MENTORS also provides guidance to Middle Eastern lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons seeking asylum based on HIV status and sexual orientation.

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