Indian Health Service announces $5 million in funding for “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States ” to support the work towards the elimination of HIV and Hepatitis C in Indian Country.
“At HHS, we continue to confront the HIV epidemic head on by ensuring that resources are focused on the communities and people who need them most,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “This funding will help us reach people in Indian Country and engage those disproportionately affected by HIV.”
“We are excited about this new funding opportunity for Indian Country to address diagnostic, treatment and prevention activities that aim to eliminate disparities and reduce the impact of HIV,” said Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler. “We are committed to providing American Indians and Alaska Natives who are at risk or living with HIV with the culturally appropriate supports and services they need.
The funds include $2.48 million for three-year cooperative agreements for tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations to support HIV/HCV and sexually transmitted infection control activities. The deadline for Tribes, Tribal Organizations and Urban Indian Organizations apply for funding is June 17, 2022.
Since the late 1980s, tremendous progress has been made in the fight against HIV, but there is still work to be done. National interventions have reduced the number of new HIV infections, but not everyone benefits equally from these advances. New diagnoses are heavily concentrated among men who have sex with men; minorities, including American Indians and Alaska Natives; and those who live in the southern United States. Among people living with HIV, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest percentage of undiagnosed HIV-infected people.
Stigma in Indigenous communities can also be a debilitating barrier that prevents someone living with HIV or at risk of contracting HIV from receiving the health care services they need and deserve. IHS continues to address barriers for people living on Indian reservations and other rural communities that limit opportunities for HIV education and testing.
In addition to cooperative agreements, approximately $1.5 million will support clinical training, including funding for case-based continuing education and technical assistance. Approximately $620,000 will support national infrastructure and approximately $400,000 will support a national media campaign.
This funding is in addition to several Indian Health Service activities which are also supported by the Minorities HIV/AIDS Fund, which has provided nationwide programs such as youth education and prevention services on the web, clinical training for HIV care, expansion of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention, case management support for people living with HIV, Day support National Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Awareness and Indigenization of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. In June 2021, IHS distributed nearly $10.5 million through this competitive funding opportunity.
The Biden administration is also continuing its support for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative in Indian Country. The president’s budget calls for $52 million in fiscal year 2023 for IHS to treat or reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C.
IHS, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system to approximately 2.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. Follow the agency via social networks on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.