via NCHHSTP Newsroom

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today awarded $55 million over five years to 34 community-based organizations (CBOs) to expand HIV prevention services for young gay and bisexual men of color, transgender youth of color, and their partners. The awards expand upon a previous program to reach these populations with an increase of $10 million to fund a larger number of community organizations. The average award for each organization is approximately $300,000 per year.
“On this National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we are reminded of the urgency of the HIV epidemic in the United States and the dramatic impact among gay and bisexual men, who account for more than 60 percent of new infections,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “We must also recognize that the epidemic cannot be overcome without effectively addressing the severe and rising toll of HIV infections among gay and bisexual men of color, who continue to be hardest hit by this disease.”

Recent data show that young men who have sex with men (MSM) of color are at particularly high and increasing risk of HIV infection. According to CDC estimates released in August, between 2006 and 2009, the annual number of new HIV infections increased 48 percent among young black MSM. Among Latinos, men who have sex with men are by far the most severely impacted, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all new infections. Nearly half of these infections among Latino MSM occurred in the youngest age group (aged 13-29). Transgender people are also severely affected by HIV. It is estimated that 28 percent of transgender people are HIV-infected.

The new CDC awards are designed to enable CBOs with strong links to these populations to meet their specific HIV prevention needs. As part of these awards, each organization will be required to provide specific prevention services. These include providing HIV testing to a total of more than 90,000 young gay and bisexual men and transgender youth of color, with a goal of identifying more than 3,500 previously unrecognized HIV infections (over the five-year funding period) – and linking those who are HIV-infected to care and prevention services. CBOs will also carry out proven behavioral change HIV prevention programs and distribute condoms to young gay and bisexual men and transgender youth of color who are at high risk for HIV or are HIV-infected.

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