Health Department Grants Target HIV/AIDS in Minority Communities

Albany, NY, July 27, 2007 - In an effort to strengthen the fight against HIV/AIDS among people of color, the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute has awarded grants totaling $2.9 million to 16 community-based organizations statewide.

"These grants are just one way we are aggressively fighting HIV/AIDS in our hardest hit communities," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "New York spends more than any other state to provide a full range of HIV prevention, treatment, and support services. But we know we need to strengthen our response and pay particular attention to New Yorkers who are disproportionately at risk for this disease," he said.

The Governor's 2007-2008 Executive Budget provides $3.5 billion from all sources for AIDS-related programs, an increase of $82 million over the previous year. Approximately 80 percent of State Health Department funding for HIV prevention programs is directed to communities of color.

Commissioner Daines noted that access to new treatments and a comprehensive continuum of health and social services have contributed to a dramatic decline in AIDS-related deaths. However, more New Yorkers than ever are living with HIV/AIDS and are in need of services.

New York leads the nation in the number of persons living with HIV/AIDS. More than 170,000 AIDS cases have been reported in New York State since the beginning of the epidemic, representing approximately 19 percent of all cases in the United States. According to the most recent data, approximately 15,000 new cases of HIV and/or AIDS were reported in New York State between January 2004 and December 2005.

People of color make up about 78 percent of persons living with AIDS and 82 percent of newly diagnosed HIV cases in New York State. AIDS is the leading cause of death for African American and Hispanic New Yorkers age 25-44.

Within the targeted communities of color - African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Native American - the grants support programs that pay special attention to women, youth, gay men/men who have sex with men, and injection drug users.

Dr. Daines said the community-based organizations receiving grants were selected in part because they provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services in minority neighborhoods. "We applaud the staff and volunteers of these agencies and encourage them in their important work."

The Communities of Color Initiative grants are renewable annually for five years as long as the organizations deliver the services called for in their contracts. The recipient organizations and their grant amounts, by geographic area, are:

Western New York

  • GROUP Ministries, $175,000
  • Native American Community Services, $150,000

Southern Tier

  • Southern Tier AIDS Program, $145,826

Central New York

  • Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, $175,000

Northeastern New York

  • AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, $150,000
  • Albany Damien Center, $175,000

Hudson Valley

  • Mid-Hudson Valley AIDS Task Force (ARCS), $175,000

Long Island

  • Leadership Training Institute, $175,000

New York City

  • AIDS Service Center of New York City, $175,000
  • Asian/Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, $150,000
  • Bronx Community Pride Center, $264,000
  • Caribbean Women's Health Association, $175,000
  • Community Healthcare Network, $175,000
  • El Regreso, $300,000
  • New York Harm Reduction Educators, $175,000
  • Partnership for the Homeless, $175,000