While Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) affects more than a million people throughout the United States, black transgender persons experience a disproportionate share of HIV-related burden. Georgia is among the states with the highest incidence of people living with HIV (PLWH) infection, and nearly half of them reside in Fulton and DeKalb counties. In Georgia, the largest percentage of transgender PLWH are non-Hispanic black/African American. Due to a combination of high overall rates of incidence along with numerous social determinants, the burden is particularly high among those aged 25 and above, with diagnoses rates increasing. As the largest transgender service organization in the southeastern United States, and the first and only organization to be awarded funds by the state of Georgia to provide HIV prevention education, condom distribution, ARTAS linkage to care, Social Network Strategy, counseling, and testing for the Metro Atlanta transgender community, Someone Cares Inc. of Atlanta (S1C) has the established experience and credibility to partner with the CDC, as well as state and local health departments, to extend the reach of HIV prevention efforts among transgender persons of color and partners in the Metro Atlanta area with funding under CDC-RFA-PS21-2102 Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Community-Based Organizations.
In accordance with the nation’s Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative (EHE): A Plan for America – Diagnose, Treat, Prevent and Respond and CDC’s High-Impact Prevention (HIP) approach, the purpose of S1C’s adult transgender program will be to collaborate to increase testing and linkage to care in order to reduce new infections, increase access to care, improve health outcomes, and reduce HIV-related disparities and health inequities for Black/African American 30+ year old transgender adults (TGPOC) and their partners in the Metro Atlanta area.
S1C will capitalize on its comprehensive curb to care approach, its established credibility within the TGPOC community, and its strong community partnerships to provide a robust program that will test 450 persons for HIV, diagnosis 12 new HIV infection annually, and link 90% of all HIV-positive persons to medical care. The program also will provide Partner Services to 100% of its HIV-positive TGPOC clients. Through the program, at least 80% of TGPOC at high risk of acquiring HIV will be referred to PrEP, and both HIV-positive and HIV-negative persons throughout the community will be offered condoms and corresponding condom education. The program also will increase the number of HIV-positive TGPOC who are provided a HIP behavioral intervention and who receive prevention and essential support services. S1C will work to increase our reach to TGPOC partners who are at high risk of HIV infection, providing testing, treatment, and prevention services to this group. Finally, S1C will continue to partner with Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), City of Atlanta Jurisdictional HIV Prevention Planning Group (JPPG) and Fulton County’s HIPP program in responding to HIV clusters and outbreaks to include data sharing, Partner Services referral, and Data-to-Care efforts.
By the end of the 5-year program S1C will increase the number of TGPOC adults and their partners diagnosed with HIV who are virally suppressed, reduce HIV incidence among TGPOC adults and their partners, and reduce HIV-related disparities in incidence and viral suppression among TGPOC adults and their partners.