The Latino Commission on AIDS (The Commission) submits the following application in response to CDC-RFA-PS19-1904 Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) for High Impact HIV Prevention Program Integration with our proposed Hands United (HU) CBA program under Component 2: Track B: Regional Technical Assistance in the South - Nonclinical HIV Testing and Prevention for HIV-Negative Persons. Tailored CBA Technical Assistance (TA) efforts directed primarily in the South, the region most heavily and disproportionately burdened with the epidemic, must be customized to address availability, accessibility, and acceptability of HIV testing in nonclinical settings and linkage to prevention methods (inclusive of biomedical interventions), as well as navigation to care and adherence support for priority populations most in need. It is critical for public health professionals to fully understand and contextualize the role of nonclinical settings for HIV testing in successfully attaining no new infections. HU will provide tailored CBA TA services for CDC-funded programs and their local partners in the South to address the challenges of availability, accessibility, and acceptability of HIV testing, prevention, care and adherence by helping them: enhance nonclinical HIV testing and prevention services for HIV-negative persons, improve infrastructure and management, and effectively reach HIV-negative individuals at high risk for infection through culturally competent and responsive high quality impact prevention programming.
Our multipronged, three-tiered (individual, organizational, community/jurisdictional) enhancement and strengthening method (CHANGE) for CBA via TA to organizations located in the Southern region will result in enhanced engagement along the HIV prevention and care continuum, guided by the HIV Navigation Services (HNS) model to contribute to the ultimate goal of no new infections. Our proposed program is designed to strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of CDC directly and indirectly funded organizations (CBOs, HDs, and other social service organizations) engaging in HIV testing in nonclinical settings within the Southern region, using a blended learning approach (individual, group, peer, in-person, virtual), that is both cost effective and efficient in delivery of services. Specifically, our TA services include consultations (individual in-person and/or virtual), coaching (unit-based e.g. HIV testers unit, in-person and/or virtual), facilitation of peer-to-peer and group skill-building activities (virtual, in-person, or in-house at different HU branches), and information dissemination (virtual and web-based for self-paced learning).
We propose four reinforcing CBA approaches to meet the short-term outcomes of strengthening the capacities of CDC-funded programs to implement: nonclinical HIV testing, and services to prevent new infections and reduce transmission of HIV throughout the 5 years of the program cycle: Virtual Institutes, Virtual Communities of Practice, Technical Assistance, and CBAConnect. We will use four innovative packages developed by HU. Activities of the program are designed, but not limited to, 1) increase knowledge, abilities, and effective practices of the HIV prevention workforce; 2) improve function and streamlining of policies, procedures and protocols, and alignment of organization policies to attain efficient and effective programming; and 3) decrease community and jurisdictional barriers to service access among priority populations. We will evaluate key indicators of TA efforts in relation to outcomes, including frequency of: 1) newly diagnosed individuals, 2) linkages to treatment services, 3) linkages of possible cases of acute infection testing to laboratory-based testing, 4) linkages to prevention services, 5) linkages to biomedical prevention intervention (nPEP; PrEP), and 6) navigation to partner services and support services addressing survival and social determinants of health.