Thanks to a $1.9 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), APLA Health will establish a new HIV prevention program focusing on minority youth in South Los Angeles and Long Beach, APLA officials announced today.
APLA Health was only one of seven organizations nationwide to receive funding from the CDC and the only community-based organization (CBO) in California to receive the award specifically for the transgender program, according to a release.
The five-year grant is for CBOs that work with those most impacted by HIV.
It will help establish APLA Health’s HIV prevention program, Trans Connections, focusing on young transgender people of color, ages 18 to 29, and their partners by reducing new HIV infections and increasing access to medical care, officials stated.
“We’re honored to be one of only seven organizations in the country selected for this critically needed funding,” Terry L. Smith, director of HIV prevention services at APLA Health, said in a statement. “In addition to high rates of HIV, young transgender people of color face many barriers to accessing quality medical care from knowledgeable providers and often deal with stigma and discrimination in other aspects of their daily lives. Trans Connections is designed to address their needs in a holistic way, not simply offering services in one area to leave needs in another.”
In Long Beach, APLA Health will provide medical care from its Long Beach Health Center and will partner with The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, which will spearhead access to legal and social support services as part of efforts to improve overall health equity.
“This grant is a blessing for our community,” The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach’s Executive Director Porter Gilberg said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with APLA Health to collectively serve one of the most under-resourced communities in Long Beach.”
APLA Health will also provide medical, social and support services from its Gleicher/Chen Health Center is Baldwin Hills.
“The CBOs funded through this program have demonstrated experience reaching YMSM and [young transgender] persons of color and populations that are heavily affected by HIV,” according to a release from the CDC.
According to the CDC, each funded CBO will work to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care and promote health equity by:
- Increasing HIV testing and linking those who test positive to HIV medical care
- Increasing referrals to partner services
- Providing prevention and essential support services for people living with HIV and those at high risk of becoming infected
“Recent scientific advances have given us powerful new strategies to stop HIV, including improved testing techniques, early treatment with antiretroviral medications, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP),” CDC officials stated. “This new funding program will help accelerate efforts to deliver these advances to the people who need them most.”
Grant funding began April 1, 2017, and will run until March 31, 2022.