Latinos Salud Inc., a non-profit agency located in the Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) will implement comprehensive, client-centered programs designed to diagnose HIV as early as possible, treat HIV quickly and effectively, prevent new HIV cases, and assist in responding quickly to HIV clusters in order to prevent new cases. The agency’s vision is “a safe and inclusive space that breaks down the barriers which contribute to health disparities, especially amongst South Florida’s gay and bisexual Latinos, and all persons living with HIV.”
Latinos Salud will build on its 12 years’ experience serving the communities of Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM), other MSM of color, and their partners, in the two counties with the highest new HIV incidence in the nation. With this funding, the agency will deploy multiple strategies and activities to reach thousands of community members each program year.
For the proposed 21-2102 project, Latino MSM reflective of the target population will deliver the HIV/STD testing services, linkage, re-engagement, medication adherence, and navigation to essential support services, as well as to PrEP and nPEP, and to prevention interventions, and will also deliver as structural-level condom distribution. The project will be inclusive, with a Community Advisory Board guiding program decisions, and with volunteers and front-line staff mentored throughout the project to take on roles with progressively greater responsibility and impact. Latinos Salud will carry out these services in close collaboration with each county’s local health department, with the Centers for Disease Control’s assigned project officer, and with the businesses and partner agencies that serve the target population.
Over the five-year grant period, Latinos Salud will provide 4,500 HIV tests and 3,375 integrated STD tests, link at least 55 (90%) of newly-diagnosed persons and 20 (90%) of previously-diagnosed out-of-care persons to care within 30 days, deliver or navigate over 90% of clients diagnosed with HIV to adherence support and essential support services, offer PrEP and nPEP enrollment to 2,225 persons of whom 563 will initiate PrEP and 25 more initiate nPEP, and also navigate persons at risk of acquiring HIV to other, separately-funded HIV prevention and referral programs, and distribute 75,000 condoms on a large scale to area gatekeepers for their patrons.
PS21-2102 will provide key funding without which the agency could not continue to support its model of offering free, walk-in services 50 non-traditional hours each week, from two locations throughout South Florida. These services are vitally needed to decrease barriers to prevention and care access for Latinos and other MSM. Latino MSM living with HIV in South Florida have the shortest life expectancy of all males, and are more likely to inadvertently transmit the virus to others if it is not controlled through timely treatment. Without comprehensive HIV prevention efforts, YMSM of color living in South Florida are at the epicenter of this dire risk prediction.