AIDS United (formerly National AIDS Fund) supports innovative strategies that will increase access to care and improve health outcomes for at least 3,500 low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
The project employs rigorous evaluation and informs the implementation of the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy. It will also offer lessons that will reduce barriers to care for a broad range of chronic disease sufferers.
AIDS United’s Access to Care Initiative (A2C) aims to increase the number of HIV positive individuals receiving care. The SIF grant to AIDS United supports 13 innovative partnerships – collaborations of nonprofits, researchers and others – that are improving individual health outcomes and strengthening local services systems. In total, it will connect at least 3,500 low-income and marginalized individuals with HIV to high quality health care and the supportive services they need.
In conjunction with this SIF grant program, AIDS United has partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health to conduct rigorous evaluations of its initiatives. Findings are expected to inform federal policy, including existing federal funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and the implementation of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy’s recent National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Lessons from the evaluations will also inform efforts to increase access to care among individuals with other chronic diseases.
Nonprofits Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from AIDS United
Initial Award Amount: $193,034
ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia-based HIV/AIDS service organization, is implementing an intensive case management program designed to increase the rate of retention in health care for individuals who have been recently released from the Philadelphia Prison System. ActionAIDS is addressing retention in care issues for those clients who because of poverty, homelessness, and behavioral health issues are likely to be lost to care. ActionAIDS is joined in this program by three other nonprofit service providers that will collaborate in the program development as well as the delivery of the housing and behavioral health services needed by these clients. The results of this program will have a potentially transformative impact not only on delivery of services to recently incarcerated clients, but on services to other clients who have mental health or drug and alcohol issues and who lack stable, affordable housing. The estimated number of persons to be served annually is between 85-100.
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
Initial Award Amount: $217,250
The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts will implement the Linking for Access and Retention in Comprehensive Care (LARCC) Project. LARCC will 1) improve the health outcomes of HIV-positive US- and non-US-born women, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users; 2) enhance and expand access and retention in mental health services and self-management support groups; 3) improve the self-sufficiency of people living with AIDS/HIV (PLWH/A) who are not engaged in care through maximization of benefit enrollment, training, education, employment; and 4) expand the continuum of care for PLWH/A to better support long-term self-sufficiency. The primary goal of the LARCC Project is to improve the health of PLWH/A by providing comprehensive bio/psycho/social support from crisis to stability and self-sufficiency. Collaborating partners include: Partners in Health, Codman Square Health Center, Multicultural AIDS Coalition, and Institute for Community Health.
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Initial Annual Award Amount: $258,369
AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s (AFC) Connect2Care project will partner with four experienced HIV/AIDS organizations to establish regional hubs that will conduct outreach and networking activities to create seamless systems from HIV diagnosis to care as envisioned in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Each hub will work with medical and support service providers in their regions to scale the initiative for clients who reside in Chicago’s north, west, near south, and far south sides. In addition to case-finding and linkage activities, the hubs will work with AFC and the Midwest Training and Education Center to develop and implement a strategic plan aimed at strengthening pathways into care and between HIV testing, treatment, housing, prevention, and other essential services.
Through the Connect2Care project, AFC will: 1) Recruit, train, and supervise case managed clients to conduct outreach to out-of-care people living with HIV/AIDS in their social networks and facilitate efforts to (re)connect them to HIV care services, 2) Provide newly connected clients educational and peer-based services to sustain care engagement, and 3) Address clients’ individual-level barriers, such as fear, stigma, or lack of knowledge about treatment in order to support care retention. Collaborating partners include: Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation, South Side Help Center, and Vital Bridges.
AIDS Project Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Initial Award Amount: $278,608
AIDS Project Los Angeles, Inc. will serve as the lead organization in a collaborative project, the Care and Access Network (CAN). The project will target low-income, HIV-positive gay and nongay identified men who have sex with men, women, transgender and heterosexual men throughout Los Angeles County. The project addresses multiple barriers to care faced by low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Strategies include implementation of outreach, patient/peer navigation and follow-up. Outreach efforts will be conducted both internally with each of the CAN agency’s current HIV-positive client population as well as externally through referrals from other organizations, street and community-based outreach, and through linkages with HIV counseling and testing sites as well as HIV medical care providers. Additionally, navigators will be trained in treatment education and advocacy to assist low-income people living with HIV/AIDS understand HIV treatment options. Four key navigation activities include 1) case identification; 2) identification of individual barriers to care; 3) implementation of the care plan; and 4) tracking through completion. The project will also provide critical information that is not currently available in the County on linkages to, and retention in HIV/AIDS care. Collaborating partners include: AIDS Service Center, Foothill AIDS Project, Minority AIDS Project, Northeast Valley Health Corporation, and REACH LA.
Amida Care Inc.
New York, New York
Initial Award Amount: $372,385
AmidaCONNECT, a collaborative project with special, targeted interventions in the community for the most challenged and complex HIV-positive people in New York City, will be led by Amida Care. The target population will be those who are HIV-positive and untreated or undertreated, and may also be dealing with the additional challenges of homelessness, substance abuse and/or mental illness. Without a specially-crafted, individualized program provided where they live (both literally and psychosocially) they will not access care. AmidaCONNECT will reach these potential clients with outreach provided by Mobile Engagement Teams (METs) using a mental health-based Assertive Community Treatment approach. The METs will formally engage the participants, provide psychiatric supports, conduct comprehensive assessments and develop service plans. Using techniques such as Motivational Interviewing and providing intensive peer buddy support and incentives, AmidaCONNECT will offer a full spectrum of supportive services. The METs will also coordinate the provision of 1) stable and safe housing as needed; 2) an effective, expedited primary care relationship; and 3) access to required specialists and ongoing mental health treatments. Collaborating partners include: New York Community Trust, Housing Works, Project Samaritan AIDS Services, and the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America.
Birmingham AIDS Outreach
Initial Award Amount: $124,990
Birmingham Access to Care is a collaborative effort between Birmingham AIDS Outreach, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1917 Clinic and Aletheia House. The project brings together some of the most experienced agencies in Alabama to address the medical and ancillary social service needs of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A). The collaboration will foster community innovation to increase access and consistent utilization of HIV healthcare by PLWH/A. The four goals of the program are: 1) to increase by 25% the number of PLWH/A re-engaged to HIV primary care; 2) to obtain information regarding individual-level facilitators and barriers to HIV primary care re-engagement among individuals previously lost to follow-up; 3) to increase the proportion of individuals previously lost to follow-up who are retained in comprehensive & coordinated outpatient medical services; and 4) to conduct a complete, comprehensive, and continuous project evaluation. The estimated number of persons to be served annually by Birmingham Access to Care is between 200-250.
Christie's Place, Inc.
San Diego, California
Initial Annual Award Amount: $348,935
Christie’s Place will lead the Comprehensive & Integrated HIV Services for Women (CIHSW), a collaborative of organizations that will function as a network of care model to improve timely entry, access to and retention in HIV care for women of color living with HIV in San Diego County, with an emphasis on underserved communities of Latinas. This project will improve the utilization of HIV medical care and treatment by women of color and strengthen the health care and social services systems and community linkages by 1) expanding the capacity of a Peer Navigator network to serve at new clinic sites and through a mobile, home-based model; 2) training HIV-positive women on accessing and utilizing their electronic medical records to increase their self-efficacy; 3) creating systems-level change by establishing a Center of Excellence in Women’s HIV clinic with integrated behavioral health care and expanded bilingual capacity and hours of operation; 4) formalizing partnerships with immigration rights and social justice organizations to provide education and legal advocacy to HIV-positive women who lack access to care and treatment; and 5) increasing access to clinical care through enhanced transportation and childcare options. Collaborating partners include American Friends Service Committee; Casa Cornelia Legal Services; Center for Health Training Resources Group; North County Health Services; and the University of California, San Diego’s Antiviral Research Center, Mother, Child and Adolescent Program, and Owen Clinic.
Initial Award Amount: $160,000
Damien CareLink is providing coordinated HIV services and linkage to care for HIV+ individuals who are currently not in care. Numerous and complex barriers to care linkage to exist, and may include issues such as mental health and substance issues, fear and stigma, homelessness, lack of co-located facilities, and many others. Damien CareLink addressing these and others barriers for HIV+ individuals who did not receive post-test counseling who were tested confidentially, those who have been lost to care, African Americans between the ages of 18-44, and Hispanics between the ages of 18-44. The priority areas to be addressed in accomplishing these goals include early HIV detection and connecting those who are HIV positive to high quality care. The estimated number of persons to be served by the Damien CareLink project is between 65 and 75 annually.
Louisiana Public Health Institute
Serving Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Initial Award Amount: $124,585
The goal of the Louisiana Reentry Initiative is to link and retain in care formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV infection in Louisiana. The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) in New Orleans, LA will serve as the lead agency and evaluator for this initiative. The Louisiana Reentry Institute will focus on the unique retention needs of formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV infection in the state. LPHI will collaborate with the Louisiana Office of Public Health in New Orleans, the Pennington Family Foundation, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and the Capitol Area Reentry Program (in partnership with the Earl K. Long Early Intervention Clinic in Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Alcohol and Drug Center, Inc.). The first 16 months of the Louisiana Reentry Initiative will be focused in the Baton Rouge area. The estimated number of persons to be served by the LRI is between 40-50 annually.
Montgomery AIDS Outreach, Inc.
Initial Award Amount: $234,586
Montgomery AIDS Outreach, Inc. (MAO) will install permanent telemedicine equipment in rural, satellite HIV clinics serving 47 of Alabama’s 67 counties. Targeting newly diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A), PLWH/A who have left care, and PLWH/A receiving suboptimal care who have no and/or little access to care, telemedicine services will provide Alabama a singular opportunity to elevate the standard and access of HIV-specific medical care in a poor, rural state. Telemedicine sites will be staffed with a nurse who can communicate with medical providers at the permanent sites and collaborate on a diagnosis via a camera and video screen, saving the patient and provider the burden and expense of traveling long distances to receive and administer vital HIV treatment. Collaborating partners include: AIDS Action Coalition of Huntsville and Whatley Health Services.
Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center Los Angeles, California
Initial Award Amount: $180,172
Pacific AIDS Education and Training Center, Keck School of Medicine of USC is collaborating with the Center for Health Justice, the Los Angeles County+ University of Southern California Medical Center Rand Schrader 5P21 Clinic, and MOSAIC, Inc. to develop the Prisoner Assistance Network (PAN). The network will provide re-entry services for low or no-income adults living with HIV/AIDS who are leaving incarceration and returning to Los Angeles County. PAN will be initiated within Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail and California State Prisons. Inmates living with HIV will be screened and linked to medical and mental health services and to substance abuse treatment, housing, job placement, and other needed social services outside corrections facilities as they reintegrate back into their communities. The estimated number of individuals to be served annually by PAN is 60.
St. Louis Effort for AIDS
St. Louis, Missouri
Initial Award Amount: $219,874
St. Louis Effort for AIDS will implement the Care Navigation Team model, a much-needed access-to-care program targeting ethnic minorities, primarily African Americans, diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in St. Louis City or County who do not have current evidence of HIV care. The project draws on evidence-based strategies using three primary components: 1) involving HIV-positive peers in proactive outreach; 2) providing time-limited, intensive case management to link people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) to HIV care and needed services; and 3) improving the existing continuum of care to be more responsive to the needs of minority PLWH/A. Once located, individuals will be linked to a Care Navigation Team that consists of peer advocates, an engagement coordinator, and a community health nurse. Collaborating partners include: City of St. Louis Department of Health, Washington University School of Medicine – Project ARK, Food Outreach, and Doorways AIDS Interfaith Housing Services.
Washington AIDS Partnership
Washington, District of Columbia
Initial Annual Award Amount: $321,283
The Washington AIDS Partnership will implement Positive Pathways, an initiative to address barriers to HIV medical care for African- American women living in the poorest neighborhoods of Washington, DC (East and Southeast DC, Wards 5-8). Through a network of trained peer Community Health Workers (CHWs) hired by and placed in community settings, Positive Pathways will identify out-of-care women, build peer-based trust and inform them about living with HIV, provide personalized assistance to help them enter and navigate service systems, and support them throughout the early part of their medical care until they become fully engaged.
Additionally, several CHWs will be strategically situated to reach very high-risk heterosexual men in the same social and sexual networks as the primary target population to protect and improve the health of both men and women at a population level. CHWs will take advantage of an innovative curriculum at a local community college that will provide them with valuable job training and marketable skills. Results from this project will also inform greater healthcare reform efforts in DC and contribute to existing, innovative efforts at the public health department level (such as community viral load mapping). Collaborating partners include CommonHealth ACTION’s Institute for Public Health Innovation; DC Department of Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration; Consumer Health Foundation; Unity Health Care, Inc.; Family and Medical Counseling Service; Whitman-Walker Clinic; The Women’s Collective; Our Place, DC; Mosaica; PreventionWorks!; United Medical Center; Pennsylvania/MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center; Howard University Local Performance Site; Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC - Ophelia Egypt Health Center; Providence Health Foundation; and District of Columbia Primary Care Association.