Jessie Claudio

Jessie Claudio

Health Services Manager

My job as OUTMemphis Health Services Manager revolves around a lot of health and wellness services such as: Sexual Health, Mental Health, Intimate Partner Violence, Substance use/misuse, Spiritual Health, as well as Physical Health. I also run supportive social group for gay and bisexual men of color, create a space and services for the Latinx LGBTQ community and support the daily running of the Community Center.

However, a big portion of my time if focus on Sexual Health which include HIV testing/counseling, linking newly diagnosed clients to care, PrEP/PEP Navigation, etc. This also happens to be one of the many reasons why I wake up every morning EXCITED to come to work. Because through OUTMemphis I am given the opportunity and the platform to go into various spaces where Sexual Health Education is very much needed. One of those space is our LGBTQ+ community of color, which as many of us know are disproportionally affected by HIV. What I love about what I do is that not only am I helping out a community, but as a Latino Gay Man I am helping a community I am a part of, my community… mi comunidad. I get to go into so many diverse spaces and help educate and empower members of our community.

To me there’s nothing more satisfying then when I leave a space and I know that I’ve helped exposed individuals to some life changing information. Especially when you look at our environment around us. Leaving in the south and being part of the bible belt, makes it difficult for us as a society to have open and honest conversations about sexual health and ways to lower one’s risk and stay healthy.  Leaving in society where topics like “sex” are taboo have fosters a hostile environment where it leaves our community vulnerable, because it leaves us without compressive sexual and reproductive health education. Therefore, when I get to go into these spaces not only am I leaving them with information but they are left feeling more secure in themselves, their sexual health, and their overall health. They are left with people not telling what to do but rather options, options for themselves and their loved ones. They are left not feeling ashamed but rather confident in themselves.

My hopes I have for our community is for everyone to have access to healthy living in the South. Which to me means having a plethora of resources (not just medical) that are not easily but readily accessible for our community despite level of income, education, legal status, race/ethnicity, sexual preference, gender identity, location, etc. without any major barriers.

Contact: [email protected]