Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing racial/ethnic minority in the US, and they continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, having higher rates of both new HIV infections and people living with HIV than their white counterparts (CDC, 2018). Among Latinos, men who have sex with men (MSM) are the largest group of new infections, and cases among young adult Latinos, ages 25-34, are trending up (CDC, 2018). Regional data for the Washington DC Metro area corroborates these national trends, showing that Latinos are affected by HIV more than other groups and that Latino MSM are among the most affected.
La Cl¿nica del Pueblo (La Cl¿nica) is a Federally Qualified Health Center and community-based organization, founded in 1983 in Washington, DC, in response to the Latino community's health needs. It operates two primary care sites, one in DC and one in Prince George's County, MD. La Cl¿nica provides a culturally and linguistically appropriate full continuum of HIV care, from prevention to medical care for HIV positive and high-risk negative individuals, including risk-reduction education, counseling and testing, linkage to treatment, integrated HIV primary care, and wrap-around services. Since 2006, La Cl¿nica has been providing community-based HIV prevention services specifically for LGBTQ Latino through its Empod¿rate ("Empower Yourself" in Spanish) Program. The program operates two drop-in safe spaces for the Latino LGBTQ community in the region, the first and primary site in Washington DC that opened in 2006, and a secondary site in neighboring Prince George's County, MD, that opened in 2017. La Cl¿nica's Empod¿rate Program has received grant funding from the CDC for 15 years (PS06-718, PS11-1113, and PS15-1502) and has developed expertise in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate HIV prevention services for the LGBTQ Latino community.
Through its PS21-2102 High-Impact Comprehensive HIV Prevention Project, La Cl¿nica will continue and enhance its successful, culturally appropriate HIV Prevention and Linkage-to-Care Model targeted at both high-risk negative (HRN) and HIV positive (newly or previously diagnosed, out-of-care), young adult Latino MSM (YLMSM), ages 18-35, in DC and Prince George's County, MD, to reduce new infections, increase access to care, and promote health equity. La Cl¿nica will continue implementing comprehensive HIV prevention activities and strategies to deliver on all PS21-2102 Program Logic Model short- and intermediate-term objectives, including the following core outcomes during the grant period:
DIAGNOSE: Conduct 3,600 HIV tests targeted at Latino MSM, ages 18-35, in the DC Metro area; 75% of tests conducted will be among the primary target population; Identify 36 newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals; Provide integrated STD and viral hepatitis screening with 20% of HIV tests; Conduct 18 large scale testing events in the DC metro area; Provide personalized cognitive counseling (PCC) during 20% of HIV tests for high-risk negative repeat testers.
TREAT: Link 90% of HIV positive YLMSM (36 newly diagnosed individuals and 18 previously diagnosed, out-of-care) to medical care within 30 days of diagnosis; Provide 90% of HIV positive persons with medication adherence services; Refer 100% of HIV positive persons to Partner Services; Provide 90% HIV positive persons with navigation to prevention and essential support services (PESS); Ensure 80% of HIV positive persons receiving navigation, access needed PESS.
PREVENT: Provide 810 unduplicated HRN YLMSM with navigation for referral and support in accessing PESS; Ensure 80% of HRN persons receiving navigation access needed PESS; Refer 180 HRN persons to PrEP; Provide weekly support groups for 20 YLMSM for HIV prevention starting June 30, 2022; Conduct 16,000 encounters through PROMISE role model stories with YLMSM at risk for HIV and 540 encounters with YLMSM living with HIV; Distribute 72,000 condoms to HRN and HIV positive YLMSM.