San Francisco AIDS Foundation to Expand PrEP Availability, Benefits Navigation; Glide and St. James Infirmary to Double HIV Testing Efforts
Introducing the SJI’s High Impact HIV Prevention Team: Juba Kalamka, Dee Michel, Aria Sa’id, Mayra Lopez & Natalia García
SAN FRANCISCO, August 11, 2015—The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has granted San Francisco community-based organizations $3.7 million to deliver effective HIV prevention strategies to those most affected, including people of color, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals, and people who inject drugs. Using these funds, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, GLIDE, and St. James Infirmary will form a “prevention partnership” to contribute their own unique expertise to continue to reduce new HIV infections, link and retain individuals in care, and deploy HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) effectively.
“This new collaborative will enable the expansion of our existing and highly-effective initiatives with PrEP and navigator services to serve neighborhoods and communities in need.” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Our goals closely align with the Getting to Zero Consortium, the San Francisco Department of Health and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.”
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, GLIDE, and St. James Infirmary (SJI) will use the new funding to deliver high-impact HIV prevention strategies, including:
- Implementing a new navigation services program for both HIV-positive and high-risk HIV-negative clients with the purpose of reducing or eliminating barriers to HIV prevention and care.
- Increasing HIV testing among communities at highest need. A highly targeted program geared at finding and testing people who are living with HIV in San Francisco but who do not know their status can have substantial impact on incidence citywide.
- Expanding the PrEP clinic in the Castro at Magnet, and launching a new PrEP clinic in the South of Market neighborhood at 1035 Market Street (close to GLIDE and SJI’s service locations).
“GLIDE is honored and thrilled to receive this funding from the CDC, which will help us significantly increase our HIV and Hep C prevention, testing and linkages to care services, which is much needed good news for the most vulnerable and high-risk communities in the Tenderloin,” said Paul Harkin, GLIDE’s HIV Services Manager. “These new resources will allow GLIDE to complement and expand our HIV and Hep C programs, resulting in more community outreach and higher numbers of people receiving testing and treatment. By providing direct support to marginalized and stigmatized individuals, we not only connect them to treatment and the system of care, but we remain in touch and are there to support them if they struggle.”
With new funding from the CDC, Glide and SJI will be able to increase the number of community-based venues in which they provide testing, and expand the hours of service access (including late night services) to better meet the needs of their high-risk target populations.
“The St. James Infirmary has been providing high-impact HIV services for years but has never had the capacity to grow them to meet the full need of our community,” said Stephany Ashley, executive director at St. James Infirmary. “Through this collaborative, we have finally been able to secure the resources to reach further into the communities in ways we’ve never been able to before.”
GLIDE and SJI have smaller programs than the foundation, and until now have had far less capacity to support retention in care. However, they have the ability and experience needed to engage with the highest-need populations in San Francisco. Because of the impacts of poverty, stigma and criminalization, the clients who test HIV-positive at these sites have some of the biggest barriers to linkage and retention in care of any in the city. By increasing their capacity for supporting retention, the new CDC funding will significantly enhance the collaborative’s ability to ensure that these clients do not fall out of care.
“San Francisco developed the system of community-based HIV/AIDS care that became a model for the nation, and we continue to innovate and strengthen our efforts to defeat this terrible disease,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “This CDC grant recognizes San Francisco’s continuing leadership in the fight against HIV by providing vital resources for GLIDE, St. James Infirmary and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s innovative partnership to offer effective, community-based prevention efforts for high-risk populations, and link those living with HIV/AIDS with compassionate care.”