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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 6, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 01
Washington to get $3.5 million for HIV prevention from CDC
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Washington to get $3.5 million for HIV prevention from CDC

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington state's Department of Health will get almost $3.5 million from the CDC for 'high-impact HIV prevention.'

The CDC announced a total of $339 million in new funding, covering the first year of a five-year funding cycle, on January 4.

The awards represent a new direction for the CDC's HIV funding, designed to achieve higher impact for every federal HIV prevention dollar spent.

The funds will be allocated to individual health departments according to a formula that matches federal resources to the geographic burden of HIV, as measured by the number of people reported living with HIV in each jurisdiction.

'This new funding approach ensures that many areas with heavier HIV burdens receive urgently needed funding increases,' the CDC said in a press release.

Previously, funding was allocated based on the number of people living with AIDS. The HIV figure is more inclusive, since fewer than half of all Americans living with HIV have progressed to AIDS, the CDC said.

'With 50,000 new HIV infections every year and a tough economic environment, the need to do more with existing resources is greater than ever,' said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention.

'This new approach to prevention funding is designed to focus on the places where needs are most urgent and on the programs that will have the most far-reaching impact. It will help us achieve the ambitious goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy with the efficiency and urgency the HIV epidemic demands.'

The Washington Department of Health is slated to receive $3,484,980 under Category A of the new funding program.

According to the CDC, health departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, eight U.S. territories, and eight cities will receive funding under Category A to conduct essential HIV prevention activities.

For the first time, health departments are required to direct at least 75% of CDC funds in this category to four key areas: HIV testing, comprehensive prevention services for HIV-positive individuals and their partners, condom distribution, and efforts to align policies to optimize HIV prevention, care, and treatment - such as efforts to eliminate barriers to routine testing.

Up to 25% of the funding in each region may be used for other activities, such as interventions for high-risk populations, social marketing, and pre-exposure prophylaxis for men who have sex with men.

Washington will not receive funds under category B of the new program, which is slated for jurisdictions with high concentrations of African Americans and Latinos living with HIV.

Under Category B, 24 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and eight cities will get additional funding to expand access to HIV testing services, primarily in health care settings, for these populations and others heavily affected by HIV.

The CDC also said it would award an additional $20 million to health departments to implement innovative HIV prevention demonstration projects. This funding will be awarded by March 2012.

'State and local health departments are the backbone of the nation's HIV prevention efforts,' said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

'This latest round of funding will help them lead the nation to slow, and ultimately end, the HIV epidemic in the United States - a public health imperative that could finally be achieved.'

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