The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Nashville CARES, Street Works and Neighborhood Health a multi-million dollar grant to be rolled out over the next five years. This funding will be used to develop a first-of-its-kind LGBTQI community health services center, comprehensive in nature, called ‘My House.’
My House will be comprised of two of Tennessee’s leading HIV/AIDS service organizations, Nashville CARES and Street Works, and one of the nation’s most experienced Federally Qualified Health Centers, Neighborhood Health. The project’s goal is to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS throughout Middle Tennessee.
“This CDC funding opportunity gives us our first real opportunity to create ‘one voice’ and increase our strength for reducing HIV infections,” said Joseph Interrante, Nashville CARES CEO.
“This collaborative project is the first of its kind in Tennessee.”
This project is a comprehensive LGBTQI one‐stop-shop community health center. All services will be accessible under one roof. Services will include education, testing, prevention, navigation, counseling, and linkages to integrated STI/Hepatitis/TB testing and screenings, medical treatment and essential support services.
“This grant from the CDC is an investment in improving the health of the Middle Tennessee community,” said Mary Bufwack, Neighborhood Health CEO. “My House is designed to focus on the health needs and disparities specific to the LGBTQI community.”
My House will increase the number of persons tested for HIV, increase the number of persons who are aware of their HIV status, and increase the number of HIV positive persons who are receiving HIV medical care.
My House staff will also work to increase the number of high-risk HIV negative persons who receive education and behavioral interventions, as well as increase the number of persons who are offered condoms and education about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to promote HIV prevention. PrEP is a way for people who don’t have HIV to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day.
The partnership will target residents of the 13‐county Nashville‐Davidson‐ Murfreesboro Tennessee metro service area (MSA) but will focus its efforts on persons at greatest risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV infection. Data from the Tennessee Department of Health and the Metro Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County show the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the MSA has increased steadily from 4,316 in 2010 to 5,218 in 2014 (roughly a 21% increase in five years). An estimated 835 people are HIV positive and unaware of their status.
Alarmingly, an estimated 45-50% of HIV positive persons may not be in HIV medical care.
“We are thrilled to work with Nashville CARES and Neighborhood Health to implement My House,” said Ron Crowder, Street Works executive director.
“This funding will allow us to work together to better focus on those individuals here in our local community who are at the greatest risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.”
This funding was awarded under the CDC Comprehensive High‐Impact HIV Prevention Projects for Community Based Organizations (CDC-RFA-PS15-1502).