September 23, 2021
HHS awards funds to health centers for ending the HIV epidemic
MOBILE, Ala. — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has awarded more than $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 latest 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.
Family Health, primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department, was among those awarded additional supplemental funding focusing on supporting access to and use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). 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. This funding, awarded to Family Health, will build upon fiscal year (FY) 2020 HRSA Health Center Program EHE awards by funding additional health centers in the EHE priority jurisdictions.
Family Health was an original awardee granted the opportunity to utilize FY 2020 EHE funding. Since 1979, Family Health has provided comprehensive primary care services throughout Mobile County. The sites, which are designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), are strategically located where the needs are the greatest and access to care is limited.
“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.”
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.