ACCESS AIDS Care/LGBT Center of Hampton Roads was recently awarded a five year grant valued at $1.7 million from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) help community-based organizations (CBOs) implement HIV prevention programs targeting young men of color (aged 18-29) who have sex with men and young transgender people of color.
ACCESS AIDS Care/LGBT Center of Hampton Roads is among 30 CBOs nationwide and the only CBO in the state of Virginia to receive funding under this grant.
“This funding will allow us to link persons newly diagnosed with HIV to medical care and assist those previously diagnosed and who are out of care back into care,” Stacie Walls-Beegle, Executive Director for ACCESS AIDS Care/LGBT Center of Hampton Roads stated,
“We also want to ensure that those testing HIV-negative to stay healthy and have access to prevention services such as regular STD screening, mental health counseling and access to new drugs such as PrEP that can prevent HIV infection and other HIV prevention programs,” Walls-Beegle said.
ACCESS AIDS Care has targeted the funding to continue delivering high-impact HIV prevention programs including community outreach, targeted HIV testing, condom distribution, care navigation for individuals that are HIV positive and comprehensive prevention programming to keep high-risk individuals that are HIV negative healthy. It also includes ongoing care navigation, regular STD screening and the use of the PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) drug regimen that can prevent HIV infection.
In addition, the funding will allow ACCESS AIDS Care to open Hampton Road’s first PrEP clinic. When operational later this spring, the clinic will be instrumental in assisting insured and uninsured persons to obtain PrEP, a prevention tool that is 99% effective in preventing HIV infection.
For nearly 30 years, ACCESS AIDS Care/LGBT Center of Hampton Roads has provided programs and services to individuals and families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Hampton Roads. The agency’s goal is to promote the dignity and wellness of adults, families, youth and children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Primary services include HIV medical case management, medication assistance, transportation services, permanent supportive housing and HIV prevention through education and testing.
In the summer of 2011, ACCESS AIDS Care opened The LGBT Center of Hampton Roads whose mission is to provide a safe space, services, resources, education and support to the LGBT community of Hampton Roads.