09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 09:14
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to expand HIV prevention and treatment, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) related services, outreach, and care coordination.
This investment is part of HHS' Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative, which aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the United States by 90 percent by 2030. This funding will expand HIV prevention services that decrease the risk of HIV transmission in counties, territories, and states prioritized due to substantial HIV diagnosis. These awards will build upon fiscal year (FY) 2020 HRSA Health Center Program EHE awards by funding additional health centers in the EHE priority jurisdictions.
'HHS-supported community health centers are often a key point of entry to HIV prevention and treatment services, especially for underserved populations,' said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. 'I am proud of the role they play in providing critical services to 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. Today's awards will ensure equitable access to services free from stigma and discrimination, while advancing the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025.'
The $48 million in awards include nearly $38 million in FY 2021 initial Ending the HIV Epidemic: Primary Care HIV Prevention (PCHP) funding to 108 HRSA-supported health centers not funded in FY 2020, and over $10 million in additional resources to expand the efforts of the 163 HRSA-supported health centers who received FY 2020 PCHP funding.
Awarded health centers will use the funding to conduct outreach and HIV testing, expand their workforce to increase access to and use of PrEP, and connect individuals who test positive for HIV to treatment. Health centers receiving these funds are encouraged to partner more closely with community organizations such as HRSA's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-funded organizations and health departments to facilitate referrals to the health center for prevention services including testing and PrEP, and, for those testing positive for HIV, care soon after diagnosis.
'We know our Health Center Program award recipients are well-positioned to advance the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, with a particular focus on facilitating access to PrEP, because of their integrated service delivery model,' said Acting HRSA Administrator Diana Espinosa. 'By integrating HIV services into primary care, and providing essential enabling services like language access or case management, HRSA-supported health centers increase access to care and improve health outcomes for patients living with HIV.'
Last year, HRSA-funded health centers provided nearly 2.5 million HIV tests to patients. Of those who tested positive for HIV for the first time, over 81 percent were successfully linked to treatment within 30 days. Nearly 190,000 patients living with HIV receive medical care services at health centers, and over 389,000 patients received PrEP-associated services.
See a list of the FY 2021 PCHP award recipients: https://bphc.hrsa.gov/program-opportunities/primary-care-hiv-prevention/fy21-awards
For more information about HRSA's role in the EHE initiative, visit: www.hrsa.gov/ending-hiv-epidemic.
To locate a HRSA Health Center Program supported health center, visit: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.