World AIDS Day: SAMHSA Highlights Innovation to Finish the HIV Epidemic

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World AIDS Day offers a yearly name to motion for us to work collaboratively to finish the HIV epidemic in america and worldwide. This yr marks the thirty fifth anniversary of World AIDS Day, a milestone that provides us the chance to commemorate these we now have misplaced to AIDS-related diseases; to honor the greater than 40 million individuals all over the world, and greater than 1.2 million People who’re residing with HIV; and to lift consciousness of the significance of HIV testing, prevention, care, and remedy. This yr’s World AIDS Day theme, Keep in mind and Commit, additionally provides us the chance to emphasise the urgency of our collective dedication to finish the HIV epidemic. We’ve got made vital progress in our effort to finish the HIV epidemic in america, however challenges stay. In lots of communities, accessing complete HIV prevention and remedy are impacted by restricted consciousness, entry, and HIV-related stigma, which proceed to hinder efforts to implement and speed up the dissemination of efficient instruments to stop and deal with HIV.

SAMHSA’s mission is to guide public well being and repair supply efforts that promote psychological well being, forestall substance misuse, and supply remedies and helps to foster restoration whereas making certain equitable entry and higher outcomes. SAMHSA’s grant recipients work to deal with the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis, substance use, and psychological sickness. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everybody ages 13-64 get examined for HIV not less than as soon as as a part of their routine well being care and know their standing. For individuals with sure threat elements, together with many individuals with or in danger for behavioral well being circumstances, CDC recommends getting examined not less than yearly. Moreover, per recently-updated medical pointers (PDF | 370 KB), all sexually-active adults and adolescents must be knowledgeable about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as an possibility to guard towards HIV.

In 2023, SAMHSA awarded over $34 million in grants to fulfill the behavioral well being wants of people that both are in danger for contracting or live with HIV/AIDS. These grant applications embody:

  • $21.9 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative: Substances Use Dysfunction Remedy for Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations at Excessive Danger for HIV/AIDS. This program will increase engagement in look after racial and ethnic medically underserved people with substance use problems (SUDs) and/or co-occurring SUDs and psychological well being circumstances (COD) who’re in danger for or residing with HIV. For instance, one grantee serves their neighborhood with SUD remedy, HIV and hepatitis C testing as nicely screening for any psychological sickness which will warrant a referral for extra companies. The grantee additionally offers restoration help companies by making a protected surroundings targeted on household and employment to help grant beneficiaries with sustaining and sustaining long run restoration. In response to the grant recipient, “with out SAMHSA funding it might have been an enormous problem for this neighborhood to obtain these companies.”
  • $10.5 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative: Substance Use and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention Navigator Program for Racial/Ethnic Minorities. This program offers substance use and HIV prevention companies to these at excessive threat for SUDS and HIV, together with racial and ethnic minority populations. This system locations emphasis on supporting individuals who determine as Lesbian, Homosexual, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex who usually are not in secure housing and/or reside in communities with excessive charges of HIV, viral hepatitis (together with Hepatitis A, B, and C), and/or sexually transmitted infections. For instance, one grantee seen hesitancy among the many Black males who’ve intercourse with males (MSM) in direction of initiating Pre-Publicity Prophylaxis (PrEP) or Publish-Publicity Prophylaxis (PEP). The grantee accomplished an environmental evaluation which confirmed the hesitation stemmed from lack of information about PrEP/PEP, together with the place and methods to entry it. To handle this barrier, the grantee performed a media marketing campaign on radio and TV with Black MSM spokespeople to coach the general public on PrEP and PEP.
  • $1.9 million for the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund: Built-in Behavioral Well being and HIV Take care of Unsheltered Populations Pilot Venture. This pilot program goals to offer complete healthcare for medically underserved individuals, together with racial and ethnic populations experiencing unsheltered homelessness, specializing in supporting the combination of behavioral well being and HIV remedy and prevention companies by means of the supply of transportable medical care delivered on the road or in different areas handy to unsheltered populations. Moreover, by means of this pilot program, which include two grant recipients primarily based in California and one grant recipient primarily based in Arizona, SAMHSA anticipates gaining some precious information, together with finest practices for addressing Substance Use Problems, HIV/Hepatitis and psychological well being for unsheltered populations which can be shared with the general public.

SAMHSA continues to prioritize lowering HIV/AIDS transmission amongst individuals who have psychological diseases and/or SUDs and linking People who’ve HIV and co-occurring psychological sickness and/or substance use dysfunction to acceptable care and remedy. In 2020, SAMHSA revealed Prevention and Remedy of HIV Amongst Folks Residing with Substance Use and/or Psychological Problems, which critiques efficient applications and practices to stop HIV and enhance adherence to and retention in care. SAMHSA MAI-funded programming is in alignment with the Nationwide HIV/AIDS Technique (NHAS) (PDF | 1.8 MB), replicate SAMHSA’s commitments specified by our contribution to the NHAS Federal Implementation Plan (PDF | 707 KB), and are in alignment with the objectives of the Ending the HIV Epidemic within the U.S. (EHE) initiative, of which SAMHSA is a proud contributing company. SAMHSA works with grantees, federal companies, well being care suppliers and others to implement these objectives.

SAMHSA is also dedicated to centering fairness inside our HIV response by making certain improved entry to acceptable HIV testing and linkage to acceptable HIV remedy and prevention companies, together with in nontraditional, community-based settings. A lot of these with HIV are unaware they’re contaminated. HIV self-testing performs a important function in reaching individuals who both don’t have entry to or choose to not get examined in conventional medical settings. To get entry to an HIV self-test, go to CDC’s Collectively TakeMeHome. Lastly, when you, or somebody you already know, is searching for assist for substance use or psychological sickness, SAMHSA’s Behavioral Well being Remedy Providers Locator will help you join with remedy applications in your space.

On World AIDS Day 2023, SAMHSA wish to thank workers, grantees, federal companions, well being care suppliers, and the substance use and psychological well being neighborhood in working towards our shared purpose of ending the HIV epidemic in america. Thanks for the work you do to save lots of lives and enhance the well being of the individuals of America.

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