Project History

Our organization began through a grant from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). They called the program KPOL (Key Peer Opinion Leader) and it is more commonly known as Friend to Friend. The HIV Prevention Initiatives from this group are to be primarily focused on MSM's (men who have sex with men), a population at very high risk for HIV transmission.Friend to Friend Members at AIDS Walk

The Friend to Friend Project began in Kentucky in the late summer of 1995. This is a collaboration project state-wide with various AIDS Prevention Organizations participating.  Our project has it's roots in earlier programs one of which was done in Mississippi in 1991. The second, called the Health Project, was conducted in 16 small cities across the US in 1992. 

Currently in Kentucky, the Friend to Friend Project is taking place in Paducah, Louisville, Lexington and Ashland. Each city is now conducting different activities with their specific group for that city but the goals are the same for each region, to reduce the number of new HIV transmissions by talking about and promoting safer sex.  Friend to Friend has already conducted four training waves and trained over 30 Peer Leaders from Tryangles. 

Friend to Friend Youth Project Peer LeadersFrom 1999 - 2004, The University of Kentucky Institute for HIV Prevention worked with GLBT youth groups in Louisville, Lexington, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus to conduct an HIV Prevention study.  The Friend to Friend Youth Project utilized a modified Friend to Friend model to train approximately 50 Peer Leaders.

In March 2004, we received funding from the Kentucky Department of Public Health for The Friend to Friend Internet Project.  The goal of the Friend to Friend Internet Project is to utilize the Internet to bring awareness and information about HIV and other STD's to those in our community. The project has helped several related community organizations develop a website and helped others enhance their presence on the world wide web. In December 2005, Friend to Friend Internet Project launched the completely revamped website.  With this valuable resource in hand, we'll begin to recruit and train volunteer Peer Leaders from local M4M chatrooms.  Peer Leaders will then share their knowledge about STD's and offer resources/referrals to their peers through websites, chat rooms, email and by instant messaging.