HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services

Criminal Justice Initiative

The Criminal Justice Initiative (CHI) supports the implementation of  peer training, education and support, anonymous HIV testing and other prevention and support services for individuals residing in NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS) correctional facilities and prioritizes the provision of HIV linkage and navigation services for individuals within, as well as those who are recently released /discharged from a correctional facility.

The primary goals of this initiative are to:

  • Improve the overall coordination and linkage among criminal justice, public health, and community based agencies to address health and health care access for the reentry population;
  • Facilitate prompt access to medical care and support services for HIV positive individuals at any point during incarceration and up to six months following release/discharge to the community;
  • Strengthen self-management skills and motivate HIV positive individuals and people who engage in high risk behaviors to identify and apply personal strengths and self-advocacy skills needed to achieve optimal health outcomes;
  • Offer HIV/STD/HCV peer education, training and support in NYSDOCCS correctional facilities;
  • Increase awareness about treatment as prevention for HIV positive individuals and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)/post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for those at high risk for HIV infection;
  • Incorporate STD and HCV education and assist with linkage to STD and HCV screening and treatment;
  • Enhance existing NYSDOCCS HIV testing efforts to increase the number of undiagnosed persons who know their HIV status and are promptly linked to care; and
  • Integrate tailored stigma and discrimination reduction messaging in NYSDOCCS correctional facilities.

Services include recruitment and engagement, in-facility and community based linkage and navigation for persons living with HIV and/or HCV, peer education, training, and support, trauma informed interventions, anonymous HIV testing, and condom promotion, education, and/or distribution.
The CJI also supports the Prison HIV Hotline. This hotline offers individuals who are incarcerated in State correctional facilities the opportunity to call collect for HIV/STD/HCV information and counseling. The hotline is also a clearinghouse for HIV/STD/HCV-related information and provide linkage and navigation services for persons living with HIV individuals upon release.

NYS DOH staff work collaboratively with NYS DOCCS staff to achieve initiative goals. 

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Stevens
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

Rick Cook
CJI Coordinator, BCBS
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 473-7258
rick.cook@health.ny.gov

Back to the top of page

Prevention and Related Services for Women

Women, particularly women of color, remain a group significantly impacted by HIV.  However, the extent to which HIV is a priority in women’s lives is often dictated by the challenges they face daily.  Concerns regarding HIV/STD/HCV are often secondary to other life issues that many women experience including, but not limited to childcare, housing, employment, education and access to necessary entitlements.  Socioeconomic, cultural and gender barriers can also limit the ability of some women to reduce behavioral risk associated with HIV as well as challenges in accessing culturally appropriate health care and information.  Additionally, for many women, stigma around accessing health services still exists so they do not routinely seek healthcare and prevention services.

The goal of the HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Women Initiative is to facilitate greater access to HIV/STD/HCV prevention services by HIV positive women and women who engage in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV/STD/HCV. 

Program designs incorporate comprehensive, gender responsive services designed to address the unique issues that women face in order to increase their ability to initiate and sustain behavior change to reduce risk of HIV/STD/HCV infection.

The purpose of this funding is to identify service providers to develop and/or enhance comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV programs through the implementation of proven high impact prevention strategies and innovative interventions for HIV positive women and women who engage in high risk behaviors with a focus on women of color.

The overall goals are to:

  • Prevent new HIV/STD/HCV infections;
  • Increase HIV/STD/HCV testing and screening services so that an increased number of women know their HIV/STD/HCV status; 
  • Identify HIV/STD/HCV infected individuals and ensure access to early, high quality medical care and prevention services;
  • Increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and risk reduction services;
  • Facilitate access to prevention services including PrEP linkage and support services; and
  • Facilitate access to essential supportive services.

Contact:

Dayna Griles-Brown
Director, Women's Services Unit, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4696
dayna.griles@health.ny.gov

School-Based HIV Prevention Education

The AIDS Institute and the New York State Education Department, through a Memorandum of Understanding, collaborate to:

  • Provide training opportunities and follow-up technical assistance for education professionals, including those who work with adolescents, elementary school children, and special populations including incarcerated youth, youth in alternative situations, youth who utilize special education, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or questioning youth, and pregnant and parenting youth;
  • Establish a system for continual review of HIV/AIDS prevention education materials;
  • Provide training opportunities that develop and enhance partnerships with traditional and non-traditional partners to promote effective policies and programming, i.e. community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, higher education, school nurses, and school boards of education;
  • Develop and market strategies to develop and promote healthy youth development norms using youth development, supportive learning environments and coordinated school health approaches; and
  • Design and/or identify effective training models, modules, and agendas for HIV and STD prevention and HIV/STD-related education within a youth development framework.

Contact:

Dora Swan
Coordinator, Sexual Health Unit
Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(518) 402-6798
dora.swan@health.ny.gov

HIV, STD, HCV Prevention & Related Services for Young Gay Men/Young Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM)

This initiative supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention interventions and related services to Young Gay Men and Young Men who have Sex with Men (YMSM) with a focus on communities of color.  The overall goals are to:

  • Prevent new HIV/STD/HCV infections;
  • Increase HIV/STD/HCV testing and screening services;
  • Increase the number of Young Gay Men and YMSM who know their HIV/STD/HCV status;
  • Identify HIV/STD/HCV infected individuals and ensure access to early, high quality medical care and prevention services;
  • Increase access to comprehensive sexual health information;
  • Facilitate access to prevention services including PrEP linkage and support services; and;
  • Facilitate access to essential supportive services.

Funded services include HIV, STD testing and hepatitis C screening, linkage and navigation services for HIV positive YMSM and YMSM who engage in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection, PrEP support programs, condom promotion, education and distribution, social media and social marketing, and evidence-based interventions.

Contact:

Nkechi Oguagha
Director, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(212) 417-4707
nkechi.oguagha@health.ny.gov

Back to the top of page

Communities of Color

The Communities of Color initiative provides comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV programs through implementation of high impact prevention strategies and innovative interventions for HIV positive and HIV negative individuals in specific high prevalence neighborhoods/regions within communities of color.

The overall goals of the initiative are to:

  • Prevent new HIV/STD/HCV infections;
  • Increase HIV/STD/HCV testing and screening services so that an increased number of people of color know their HIV/STD/HCV status;
  • Identify HIV/STD/HCV infected individuals and ensure access to early, high-quality medical care and prevention services;
  • Increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and risk reduction services;
  • Facilitate access to prevention services including Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post‐Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP); and
  • Facilitate access to essential supportive services.

This initiative consists of the following six (6) components:

HIV/STDS/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Men and HIV Positive Men

Funding supports programs that provide a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention interventions and related services to men and HIV positive men within communities of color (e.g., Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native) with an emphasis on epicenters of the epidemic and the provision of Client Recruitment/Engagement; HIV Prevention Community Collaboration; Condom Promotion, Education, and Distribution; direct provision of HIV Testing; direct provision of, or documented referral to STD and HCV Screening; Linkage and Navigation Services; and delivery of a High Impact Prevention Public Health Strategy, Evidence Based Behavioral Intervention (EBI) and/or Locally Developed Intervention; or formalized PrEP Support programs.

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Stevens
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

Comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Services for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) Individuals

Funding supports a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention interventions and related services to TGNC individuals, particularly within communities of with an emphasis on epicenters of the epidemic and the provision of Client Recruitment/Engagement; HIV Prevention Community Collaboration; Condom Promotion, Education and Distribution; direct provision of HIV Testing; direct provision of, or documented referral to STD and HCV Screening; Linkage and Navigation Services; delivery of prevention/supportive interventions; Evidence Based Behavioral Interventions (EBI) and/or Locally Developed Interventions; or formalized PrEP Support programs.

Contact:

Nkechi Oguagha
Director, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(212) 417-4707
nkechi.oguagha@health.ny.gov

Comprehensive HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Women and Young Women

Funding supports a comprehensive range of HIV/STD/HCV prevention interventions and related services to programs to Women and Young Women within Communities of Color with an emphasis on epicenters of the epidemic and the provision of Client Recruitment/Engagement; HIV Prevention Community Collaboration; Condom Promotion, Education, and Distribution; direct provision of HIV Testing; direct provision of, or documented referral to, STD and HCV Screening; Linkage and Navigation Services; and delivery of High Impact Prevention Public Health Strategies, Evidence Based Behavioral Interventions (EBI), and/or Locally Developed Interventions; or formalized PrEP Support programs.

Contact:

Nkechi Oguagha
Director, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(212) 417-4707
nkechi.oguagha@health.ny.gov

NYS Hotline Services and Social Media Based Outreach for English and Spanish Speakers

Funding supports the operation of a toll-free telephone hotline and social media outreach services to provide information, referrals, and support services to residents of NYS in both English and Spanish.

The overall goals are to:

  • Provide clear, accurate and science-based information;
  • Promote Drug User Health Services and provide referrals to Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs, Syringe Exchange and Expanded Syringe Access Programs (ESAP);
  • Promote LGBT Health and Wellness;
  • Facilitate access to early, high-quality medical care and essential support services; and
  • Facilitate access to behavioral and biomedical prevention services including HIV testing, STI and HCV screening, effective behavioral interventions, PEP, PrEP, and Treatment as Prevention referred to as Undetectable=Untransmittable, or U=U.

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Stevens
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

Training and Technical Assistance on HIV-Related Violence for LGBT Individuals

Funding supports the provision of services that address the intersection of HIV/AIDS and HIV-related violence impacting the lives of infected and affected LGBT individuals, particularly LGBT individuals of color. 

The overall goals are to:

  • Increase access to services for LGBT individuals who are victims of violence, victimization, hate, assault, and/or sexual intimate partner violence;
  • Raise awareness of HIV-related violence;
  • Increase provider skills and knowledge to provide culturally competent/sensitive services to LGBT populations; and
  • Increase provider skills and knowledge to provide competent post-victimization services for LGBT individuals who have experienced violence.

Contact:

Nkechi Oguagha
Director, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(212) 417-4707
nkechi.oguagha@health.ny.gov

Capacity Building for High Impact Prevention

Funding supports the implementation of training and technical assistance activities. To expand and strengthen provider capacity to address social determinants of health (e.g., unemployment), socio-cultural issues, and promote overall health and wellness of communities of color.
The overall goal is to improve the risk conditions and behaviors in a community by focusing on the priority population and the community as a whole rather than on individuals or small groups.  

Contact:

Bethsabet de León Stevens
Director, Bureau of Community Based Services
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention
(518) 486-1412
bethsabet.deleonjustiniano@health.ny.gov

Back to the top of page

Young People

The primary goal of the HIV/STD/HCV Prevention and Related Services for Young People through the Use of Youth Health Advocates Initiative is to support the training and utilization of a diverse group of Youth Health Advocates (YHAs) to enhance the delivery of services to young people living with HIV/AIDS and young people who engage in high-risk behaviors, with a focus on communities of color.

Funded providers employ YHAs who are young people between the ages of 13 and 24 with demographics similar to the target population who are engaging in or who have previously engaged in behaviors that place them at risk of HIV/STD/HCV infection. The role of the YHAs is to actively engage with young people living with HIV/AIDS and/or young people who engage in high-risk behaviors to encourage them to seek treatment, care, and prevention services.
The overall goals of the initiative are to:

  • Actively engage young people and increase their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information;
  • Prevent new HIV/STD/HCV infections;
  • Increase HIV/STD/HCV testing and screening services;
  • Increase the number of young people who know their HIV/STD/HCV status;
  • Identify individuals who are HIV/STD/HCV positive and ensure access to early, high quality care and prevention services;
  • Facilitate access to prevention services; and
  • Facilitate access to essential supportive services.

The NYS Department of Health encourages programs that serve young people to integrate the principles and practices of youth development into service models. A youth development approach extends and enhances traditional harm reduction and prevention models by focusing on strengthening the protective factors that contribute to promoting healthy outcomes for young people.

In addition, funded programs have policies and attributes that are youth friendly and attract young people to the program, provide comfortable age-appropriate settings for youth, meet the needs of young people and retain them for follow-up and repeat visits.

The key components of this initiative include:

  • Direct provision of and/or linkage to HIV/STD testing and/or HCV screening;
  • Linkage, navigation and retention in services for youth who are HIV positive and youth who engage in high-risk behaviors;
  • YHA training;
  • HIV/STD evidence-based and locally developed prevention interventions designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission or acquisition;
  • HIV navigation services;
  • Partner services-based interventions;
  • PrEP education and adherence support; and
  • Condom promotion, education and distribution. 

Contact:

Nkechi Oguagha
Director, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services
(212) 417-4707
nkechi.oguagha@health.ny.gov

Back to the top of page

LGBT Health and Human Services

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals’ access to and interaction with the health and human services system are significantly impacted by intersections with discrimination and societal rejection based on sexual identity, gender identity, and gender expression. When these factors are coupled with social determinants for poor health, the result is often health disparities that uniquely impact LGBT individuals.

Establishing systems of service delivery and support, comprised of organizations dedicated to serving LGBT individuals and their families and friends, can successfully address many of the barriers to health that LGBT individuals face.  The LGBT Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative was incorporated into the AIDS Institute program portfolio in 2008 and is comprised of grantees providing health and human services intended to improve access to health care, provide support services, reduce stigma and increase the number of providers in NYS trained to provide sensitive and affirming care to LGBT individuals and their families. The initiative also consists of two statewide technical assistance components. The first provides technical assistance and capacity building in the areas of: leadership development, program development, coordination, health promotion/awareness, and education and support to current grantees and emerging organizations. The second provides technical assistance on LGBT cultural competence to current grantees and emerging organizations to design and implement a plan for organization specific and group organizational development, focusing on creating sustainable multicultural and culturally responsive organizations to address the priority areas of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

The overall goals of the initiative are to:

  • Expand health promotion and increase access to health care;
  • Increase access to behavioral health services;
  • Improve the health outcomes and quality of life for LGBT individuals who use substances;
  • Promote access to prevention and support services;
  • Improve the quality and appropriateness of LGBT health and human services;
  • Enhance LGBT cultural competency for health and human service providers;
  • Eliminate bias and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity among health and human service providers in NYS;
  • Increase access to educational opportunities for LGBT individuals;
  • Expand program models that support mentorship, employment and life skills training;
  • Expand resources to improve access to housing and decrease housing discrimination; and
  • Provide technical assistance in program and organizational development and enhance the capacity of LGBT service providers.

Contact:

Kraig Pannell
Director, LGBT Health Services Unit, Bureau of Special Populations
Division of HIV/STD/HCV Prevention Services 
(518) 473-3802
kraig.pannell@health.ny.gov

Back to the top of page