COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Equitas Health is among seven community-based organizations in the U.S. awarded funding by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to implement comprehensive HIV prevention programs focused on young transgender and gender non-confirming people of color. Equitas Health’s grant award totaled $1.9 million over five years to launch this program. These new HIV prevention services will complement the nonprofit’s other specialized health services for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, which include specialized primary care, hormone therapy through an informed consent model, behavioral health, and name and gender change legal services.
The goal of this new program will be to decrease illnesses, deaths, and health disparities in this target population by providing HIV testing, linkage to medical treatment for HIV-positive individuals, linkage to PrEP/PEP for HIV negative persons at high risk for HIV, linkage to essential support services to promote health and wellness, and engagement through the high impact prevention program PROMISE.
Because data for transgender people is not widely collected, specific rates of HIV infection are not fully known; however, research indicates transgender and gender non-conforming people of color are at significantly more at risk for HIV infection in addition to other health disparities. According to the CDC, from 2009-2014, 51% of African American transgender women and 29% of Hispanic/Latina transgender women were diagnosed with HIV compared to 11% of white transgender women.
“This funding will allow us to take what we’ve learned over the last 34 years of HIV prevention best practices and focus on a population that has been disproportionally impacted by HIV,” said Bill Hardy, President & CEO of Equitas Health.
This new initiative will enhance Equitas Health’s partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s FACES and THRIVE programs, as part of this program they will focus on serving 13-to-18 year old program participants with Equitas Health serving 19–29 year olds.
ABOUT EQUITAS HEALTH
Equitas Health is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations. Equitas Health serves more than 67,000 individuals in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia each year through its diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, dental, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives. For more information, visit equitashealth.com.
SOURCE: EQUITAS HEALTH