Washington, DC – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and administration officials were joined by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), to announce the new $26.4 million DC Partnership for HIV/AIDS Progress. The Partnership’s goals are to decrease the rate of new HIV infections in the city, improve the health of District residents living with HIV infection, and strengthen the city’s ongoing response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“As the nation’s capital and national leader in the fight against HIV, the District of Columbia is excited to launch a new innovative partnership for HIV/AIDS progress with the NIH,” said Fenty. “This comprehensive collaboration will generate fresh ideas, new services and technical knowledge to assist the city together with NIH in preventing new infections and improve health care services for all residents living with HIV/AIDS.”
The Partnership is a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the DC Department of Health (DOH). NIH has allocated the funds to be used over two years of the Partnership.
“This new partnership with the NIH will allow us to continue our work to make sustainable and measurable improvements in the health and wellness of people living with HIV/AIDS” said Dr. Pierre N.D. Vigilance, Director of the Department of Health.
The Partnership will start with four projects that will allow NIH and the District to learn from new prevention strategies, increase HIV sub-specialty medical care, health impacts of HIV medical care, and create immediate links to HIV care to ensure a healthier community of persons living with HIV.
New Prevention Strategies for At-Risk Populations: The Partnership will include two new prevention studies to reach high risk persons among men who have sex with men and women of color to reduce HIV transmission.
Enhancing Care for HIV-related Medical Issues: The Partnership will open new clinics to offer new treatments for people with HIV, with the first round to treat Hepatitis C at three community medical providers Family & Medical Services, Unity Health Care’s Walker Jones Health Center and Whitman-Walker Clinic.
Tracking HIV Care, Measuring Success: The Partnership will track HIV health issues and outcomes by linking information from 13 of the city’s largest health care providers covering about 12,000 DC residents living with HIV to better assess the clinical and treatment status of individual HIV patients, evaluate outcomes of specific clinics and health programs and measure the impact of HIV testing and treatment initiatives within the city.
Test and Treat: Through the Partnership DC will be one of two cities in the country to study the effectiveness of “Test and Treat” by comparing current community standards for HIV testing and treatment with accelerated expansion of routine testing services to identify HIV-infected people and evaluate enhanced methods for linking those patients rapidly to care and successful treatment thereby reducing the impact of the epidemic.
The Partnership also includes The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and will draw upon a diverse portfolio of universities, health care providers, community-based organizations, and stakeholder groups.
“This first-ever partnership will not only bring DC medical providers together to yield extraordinary knowledge about our epidemic, it will also put DC on the map to recruit new scientists and medical practitioners to make our city the place to fight HIV and AIDS,” said Dr. Shannon L. Hader, senior deputy director of DOH HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration.
Funding for the Partnership is provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, NIH Office of AIDS Research and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Further details regarding the Partnership can be found on the NIH webpage and at www.doh.dc.gov/hiv.