0 to 9 volunteers
10 or more volunteers
BSSV program volunteers are at
work in nearly all 50 states.
for organizations nationwide.
BSSV program staff at APA also train volunteers through
in-person and online workshops to implement evidence-based interventions developed by the CDC. Two such
interventions are CLEAR, which uses cognitive-behavioral
techniques to empower people with or at high risk for HIV/
AIDS to make healthy choices, and Healthy Relationships,
a small-group intervention aimed at reducing stress among
men and women with HIV/AIDS and decreasing their sexual
In its latest effort, the BSSV program is encouraging
community organizations to better integrate mental health
and substance abuse issues into their services, a worthy
endeavor since it’s been estimated that 50 percent of HIV-positive adults have a mental health disorder (Archives of
General Psychiatry, 2001).
“We are excited because this intervention is in line with
CDC’s goals and it is really our expertise,” says Davis-Brown.
In March 2014, the CDC will decide whether to renew the
BSSV grant. Davis-Brown is optimistic. Unlike most of its
competitors, the program relies almost entirely on volunteers,
allowing it to dedicate most of the funding to the community,
she says. In the meantime, they’ll remain dedicated to the fight.
“We’ve come a long way,” says Foster. “But there’s no denying
the reality that … people are still dying.” n
To learn more about the program or to become a volunteer, go to
John Anderson, PhD, the founder of the BSSV
program, died on Sept. 17. Anderson worked at
APA for 24 years and founded the BSSV program
in 1996, when he was senior director of the APA
Office on AIDS. “Dr. Anderson has made truly
significant contributions to the field of HIV/AIDS
and psychology,” says Edna Davis-Brown, MPH,
director of the BSSV program. “It is our honor to
continue to carry on his rich legacy here at APA’s
Office on AIDS.”