San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (02.04.13)
AIDS United has awarded Christie’s Place of San Diego a “Retention in Care” grant to help HIV-positive persons stay in care. Christie’s Place will use the grant to address trauma as a part of comprehensive retention services for women of color in San Diego, and will strive toward sustainability as the United States moves to fully implement the Affordable Care Act.
Christie’s Place is one of seven organizations nationwide to receive the first Retention in Care grants, which are funded through a $4 million investment by the MAC AIDS Fund and a special partnership with AIDS United. These seven initial grants, which total $1 million in awarded funds, will help organizations identify and expand programs that help keep HIV-positive people in care. Retention in care is crucial in the continued fight against the disease. Michael Kaplan, AIDS United president and CEO, stated that a study from the National Institutes of Health, called HPTN, showed that early treatment of HIV-positive people can reduce sexual transmission of HIV to uninfected partners by 96 percent. Even though early treatment holds significant promise for community as well as individual prevention efforts, CDC estimates that only 41 percent of HIV-positive persons in the United States are retained in care. People in poverty are at the highest risk of dropping out of care, according to Kaplan.
Nancy Mahon, MAC AIDS Fund global executive director, declares, “At this pivotal time in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the [United States], the MAC AIDS Fund’s Retention in Care Initiative with AIDS United presents us with a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference for the people who need it most.” The first group of Retention in Care grantees include: Christie's Place, San Diego, Calif.; CitiWide Harm Reduction Program, Bronx, N.Y.; Institute for Public Health Innovation/CommonHealth ACTION, Prince George’s County, Md.; AIDS Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.; The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.; The Open Door, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and the Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia, Pa.