Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Alice DeYoung

Second Advisor

Yvonne Ford

Third Advisor

Mary Lagerwey


This paper aims to explain and improve the disparities that intersect the Black and LGBT communities of Berrien County as it relates to access to healthcare, specifically those at risk for HIV. This paper identifies the various resources used to highlight these including the Kalamazoo Community AIDS Resource Education Services (CARES). There are many factors that put these populations at risk. The LGBT and Black communities are at risk due to factors such as STIs, multiple sex partners, unprotected sex, use of drugs during sex, low socioeconomic status, inadequate data on race, ethnicity, and language lowers the likelihood of effective actions to address health disparities, cultural competence, lack of insurance, poverty, discrimination stigma, prevalence of HIV and STIs in the community, increases an individual’s risk of infection with every sexual encounter, people select partners of same ethnicity, unaware of status, and increased rates of undiagnosed and untreated STIs and increased rates of incarceration among men. The goal of this thesis was to create a three-tier nursing intervention plan at a community, family, and individual level. It narrows down the four objectives in our care plan which included, increasing the portion of persons receiving preventative services, increasing the number of population-based data systems that monitor LGBT populations, increase the proportion of adolescents and adults who have been HIV tested in the past 12 months, and increase the proportion of men who have sex with men (MSM) who report having been tested for HIV in the past 12 months. The three levels of care plans include advocating for non-discrimination acts protecting LGBT and Black communities, advocating for health maintenance clinics specific to HIV, act as case managers to collaborate care for HIV positive individuals with other resources such as culturally competent pharmacist and social workers. This thesis was presented as a mock testimonial to the Berrien County Health Board.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access