WWH is seeking funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase identification of new HIV diagnoses among transgender and gender-expansive people, refer those with high exposure to HIV for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) services, facilitate earlier entry to HIV care for those living with HIV, and increase consistency of care to retain these patients in HIV treatment and prevention services over time. To address health disparities and more effectively engage gender diverse communities in DC, WWH will partner with Honoring Individual Power and Strength (HIPS) and District of Columbia Department of Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA) to develop a holistic community-to-care service model providing health care and wellbeing services for transgender men and women, non-binary people, and genderqueer people. Services will include HIV prevention and care; integrated STI testing and treatment; gender-affirming services, including hormone therapy, Trans Care Navigation, and other procedures; hepatitis testing, treatment, and vaccination; preventive health care and chronic disease care; and mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) services as needed.
WWH will apply the health center’s four decades of experience and unique expertise in serving transgender and gender-expansive clients and leverage key partnerships to increase capacity for 1) diagnosing HIV early through community-based rapid HIV testing and providing culturally sensitive integrated STI screening and treatment that follows CDC’s STI testing guidelines; 2) treating HIV with immediate linkage to care for clients with reactive HIV test results; 3) reducing the number of new HIV infections with focused PrEP navigation to increase transgender and gender-expansive people’s uptake of and adherence to PrEP; 4) supporting a whole-person approach to care with specialized Trans Care Navigation; and 5) linking clients to culturally responsive mental health and SUD services at WWH and HIPS.
WWH and HIPS have collaborated to serve gender diverse communities in DC for more than 20 years. With this proposal, WWH and HIPS will strengthen the partnership and consult with HAHSTA to increase targeted HIV testing and integrated screening efforts for transgender and gender-expansive persons, improve linkage to medical care and treatment for those diagnosed with HIV through WWH’s Red Carpet and Fast Forward Rapid ART programs, re-engage those previously diagnosed with HIV, and offer intensive care navigation and psychosocial support services to retain HIV+ clients in care over time. The community-to-care model of service delivery will aim to increase use of HIV prevention and treatment services by gender diverse communities to decrease HIV transmission while improving overall health and wellbeing through a whole-person approach to care. Additionally, WWH will capitalize on the outstanding reputation of our PrEP Navigation program to reduce the number of new HIV infections in gender diverse communities by increasing access to PrEP for HIV prevention, improving adherence to PrEP, and supporting persistence with PrEP among transgender and gender-expansive individuals.