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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces that it has awarded $216 million over five years to 90 community-based organizations (CBOs) nationwide to deliver effective HIV prevention strategies to those at greatest risk, including people of color, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, and people who inject drugs.
“Community-based organizations have been vital to our nation’s HIV prevention efforts since the earliest days of the epidemic,” says Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention. “The organizations we’re funding have a strong foothold in the hardest-hit communities. They have the credibility and experience needed to deliver the most effective HIV prevention strategies to those who need them most.”
CBOs will use the new funding to deliver high-impact HIV prevention strategies, including:
•Providing HIV testing to those at high risk to increase the proportion of people who are aware of their HIV status
•Engaging HIV-positive people in ongoing care and treatment, helping them adhere to antiretroviral therapy, and ensuring they receive prevention and support services
•Ensuring high-risk, HIV-negative individuals have access to prevention and support services such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), high-impact behavioral interventions, and screening for sexually transmitted infections
•Distributing condoms to HIV-positive and high-risk, HIV-negative individuals
For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, the funding program includes a component that allows organizations to pool their expertise and resources into “Prevention Partnerships.” Of the 90 organizations receiving funding, 30 will serve as the lead of a partnership comprised of several organizations. Through these partnerships, 47 additional organizations will contribute their own unique expertise to help deliver more comprehensive prevention services to those in greatest need.
“It’s clear that we need to focus our limited resources on strategies that can have the greatest possible impact,” says Eugene McCray, MD, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “This funding targets local communities to help maximize the impact of every federal prevention dollar. By delivering powerful prevention tools where they’re needed most, we can have a transformative impact on the epidemic.”
The funded organizations are in the 50 geographic areas that reported the highest number of HIV diagnoses in 2011. Each organization has demonstrated experience and expertise working with the populations most affected by the epidemic. Of the 90 directly-funded CBOs, 67 (74.4 percent) primarily serve African Americans and 15 (16.7 percent) primarily serve Hispanics; 64 (71.1 percent) primarily serve MSM. A full list of funded CBOs is available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/funding/announcements/ps15-1502/organizations.html.
CDC provided extensive pre-application guidance and technical assistance to help interested CBOs apply for the funding. Funded CBOs will be required to monitor program impact and behavioral outcomes. Moving forward, CDC will provide technical assistance and support – directly and through funding for its capacity-building partners – to help ensure funded CBOs are successful in meeting key goals associated with the funding, such as increasing HIV testing among those at-risk and increasing the number of people with HIV who are linked to medical care.
“Birmingham AIDS Outreach has been working since 1985 to reverse the devastating impact of HIV in our community – and now, with this new funding from CDC, we can do even more, along with our community partners AIDS Alabama and the Aletheia House,” says Karen Musgrove, executive director of Birmingham AIDS Outreach. “We’re grateful for and excited about the opportunity to invest in delivering the cutting edge of HIV prevention to those who need it most across the state of Alabama.”
CDC supports HIV prevention at national, state, local, and territorial levels, and these awards represent just one part of CDC’s nearly $700 million annual investment in domestic HIV prevention. The bulk of that annual funding goes directly to state and local health departments – and, indirectly, to many additional community-based organizations across the nation – to prevent HIV infection among those at greatest risk.
The awards announced today reflect CDC’s focus on a high-impact prevention approach, which prioritizes strategies that are scientifically proven, cost-effective, scalable, and targeted to the geographic areas and populations that need them most.
Nationally, CDC’s approach to HIV prevention primarily focuses on:
•Identifying undiagnosed HIV infections through increased testing
•Ensuring that people with HIV receive ongoing care and treatment to improve their health and reduce transmission to others
•Ensuring those at highest risk for HIV have the knowledge and tools needed to protect themselves