Harlem United Community AIDS Center has been awarded three new grant awards, which will total approximately $4 million over five years, for preventive and health care services in Harlem.
Harlem United successfully competed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention (FOA PS15-1502) contract through its FROST’D program. Harlem United is one of 90 awardees in the United States and 14 in New York State. The funding will support a new program aimed at reducing health disparities for young gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) ages 16 to 24. The program will provide HIV testing, link HIV-positive persons to medical care, and provide navigation and adherence supports for high-risk negative individuals to access pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute has awarded Harlem United two new contracts to help HIV positive individuals get, and stay in, care. The program is designed to identify HIV infection early and then improve patients’ ability to self-manage their HIV, ultimately with the goal of suppressing the HIV virus. This improves the individual’s health and makes it harder to transmit the virus.
Central Harlem-Morningside Heights, holds the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses among all MSM (along with Chelsea-Clinton).
“We know what works in our community,” said Jacquelyn Kilmer (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Harlem United. “We’re excited to put these federal and state dollars to work to address the HIV epidemic locally.” Harlem remains among one of the neighborhoods most impacted by HIV and AIDS in New York City. As of 2013, Harlem had one of the highest rates of HIV diagnoses and highest proportions of people living with HIV. And, while the number of new HIV diagnoses among MSM under 30 have been relatively stable since 2009, young men of color account for a larger proportion of new HIV diagnoses than among white MSM. Further, Central Harlem-Morningside Heights, holds the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses among all MSM (along with Chelsea-Clinton).
Harlem United served on Governor Cuomo’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force, which created a blueprint to end AIDS in New York State by 2020. “This funding will be instrumental in helping to widen our access points for young gay men and MSM—as well as HIV positive people that are not connected to care—and help them get care and stay healthy. We’re on track to do our part in ending the epidemic,” said Kilmer.