New Focus within High Impact HIV Prevention Targets Healthcare Organizations as Key to Reducing New HIV Infections

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CAI Selected as National Capacity Building Assistance Provider to Support Healthcare Organizations Working to Decrease HIV Infection Rates and Increase Early Detection

(New York, NY) As part of an effort to decrease the estimated 50,000 new HIV infections that occur each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has selected Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI) to serve as a Capacity Building Assistance provider to healthcare organizations nationwide.[i]

The CDC's effort concentrates on strengthening the capacity of the HIV prevention workforce to implement High Impact HIV Prevention interventions-- scalable, scientifically proven approaches tailored to specific populations-- with a new focus on treatment as a critical component of prevention. This strategy highlights the significant role healthcare organizations must play in decreasing new infection rates in the US by 25%. CAI's project aims to increase early detection, linkage to and retention in care, and treatment for those living with HIV.

"Although our ability to treat HIV has progressed dramatically, only 25% of infected men, women, and children are receiving the care they need to effectively treat their infection and prevent its spread," said Dr. Robert Cohen, CAI's Medical Director. "Focusing on the important role that healthcare organizations play in lowering the transmission rate and ensuring those who are HIV positive stay in care is essential. As a capacity building organization, we are excited to support the implementation of evidence-based High Impact Prevention strategies in diverse healthcare settings."

To assist with the implementation of High Impact HIV Prevention within healthcare organizations, CAI has assembled a team with extensive treatment and prevention expertise that includes the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the Clinical Directors Network (CDN), the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, and the National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development (NAHEWD). CAI has also included a national network of healthcare faculty that have pioneered effective implementation of High Impact Prevention and have particular experience working with young black men (ages 18-29), which is the only population that has seen a significant increase in HIV between 2006 and 2010.[ii]

"The Black AIDS Institute is proud to partner with CAI on this project," stated Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the BAI. "We are confident that CAI and the other members of the team assembled by CAI will work very hard towards an AIDS-Free Generation. We are also painfully aware that our efforts alone will not get the job done. We are never going to end the AIDS epidemic in America unless and until we build systems in care delivery and capacity building that reflect the diverse demographics of the epidemic."

In a February 2014 report, the CDC released a new study that indicates black individuals in the US continue to be the most affected by HIV. Compared with other groups, rates of new infection remain highest in this segment of the population at 44%, with an estimated 506,800 currently living with HIV in the United States.[iii]

"We are very pleased to be awarded this grant from the CDC to help healthcare organizations implement High Impact Prevention strategies," said Barbara Cicatelli, CAI's President and Founder. "We, along with a number of our colleagues, including the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) and the BAI, are concerned that no black-led organization was selected as a lead recipient in this new capacity building grant cycle. We believe it will be particularly important for CAI, working with black-led organizations, to assist healthcare organizations as they engage, treat, and retain in care the growing number of black individuals diagnosed with HIV. Given the disproportionate impact of HIV within the black community, CAI will make every effort to collaborate with all organizations who have long paved the way in establishing bridges between healthcare organizations and at-risk communities."

The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the US are currently living with HIV, including 180,900 (15.8%) of individuals who are unaware of their infection.[iv]

CAI's project, which is funded by the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Capacity Building Branch, will be led by Dr. Tony Jimenez, CAI Vice President and Project Director. To learn more about the project, click here.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 35 years, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 23 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world.

[i] http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/2012/HIV-Infections-2007-2010.pdf.

[ii] Prejean J, Song R, Hernandez A, et al. Estimated HIV Incidence in the United States, 2006-2009. PLoS ONE 2011;6(8):e17502

[iii] CDC. Progress Along the Continuum of HIV Care Among Blacks with Diagnosed HIV— United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014;65(No.5). Published February, 2014

[iv] CDC. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 U.S. dependent areas—2011. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2013;18(No. 5). Published October 2013

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