Two federal grants to target HIV prevention and treatment in Bexar County

Two new federal grants aimed at preventing, treating HIV

(SAN ANTONIO, TX – Oct. 27, 2017) University Health System has been awarded two five-year federal grants aimed at preventing HIV infection among high-risk populations and treating those with both behavioral health disorders and HIV.

The grants, totaling nearly $3.5 million from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, are aimed at providing outreach, screening, prevention and treatment.

“These funds will help us prevent disease and promote good health in individuals and vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Roberto Villarreal, senior vice president for research and information management at University Health System. “We’ll be able to expand access to a wide range of services.”

StrongARM (Addiction Recovery for Men) is a five-year, $2.49 million program to expand and enhance substance abuse treatment, behavioral health and HIV services for adult men with substance abuse disorders who are at risk or living with HIV. Services will include peer navigation, case management, peer recovery support, trauma-related services, and HIV and hepatitis testing and links to care.

A second award of $999,983 over five years will fund Project NExT (Navigate, Engage, Connect, Test), a peer-navigation program for men ages 18 to 24 at risk for substance abuse and HIV. Services will include outreach, intensive case management, testing for HIV and viral hepatitis, evidence-based substance abuse and HIV prevention education, referrals for housing support services, and help with obtaining HIV and hepatitis care.

Both programs are designed to reach members of racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly young adults. They support the 90-90-90 treatment target by 2020 of 90 percent of all people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy having viral suppression.

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