Janae Bates is an HIV Prevention Specialist working to prevent the transmission of HIV within the community, specifically within the Black MSM (men who have sex with men) community. As an HIV Prevention Specialist, she assembles and distributes Safe Sex Kits to local businesses and organizations, provides prevention education to high-risk populations, and hosts and administers free HIV testing at community events and organizations – aiming to decrease potential barriers that may prevent individuals from accessing testing.
Prior to starting a career at Damien Center, she majored in Health Education and Promotion with a minor of Sociology at Ball State University and worked with United Health Group as a Sales Service Specialist. Over time, she learned valuable skills that continue to inform her work as an HIV Prevention Specialist – including conducting research, facilitating discussions, and developing outreach materials, as well as maintaining client satisfaction by helping individuals gain access to resources and providing them with information that can help them stay HIV negative.
As a young child, Janae lost a close relative to the HIV epidemic. As she got older, she learned more about HIV and the stigmas associated with it and decided to pursue a profession that would allow her to bring HIV awareness to the Black community, decrease stigmas associated with the virus, and help individuals living with HIV gain access to resources and care that they needed to live a long, healthy life.
She loves spending quality time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, and shopping.