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MONTEFIORE AIDS CENTER AWARDED $6.8 MILLION TO CURB THE DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT OF HIV ON BLACK, HISPANIC & LGBTQ+ COMMUNITIES

On This World AIDS DAY, Montefiore Shares How New York State and New York City Departments of Health Funding Will Bring More Prevention & Treatment Options to the Bronx

BRONX, N.Y., Dec. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Montefiore AIDS Center, one of the largest HIV prevention and treatment programs in New York State, has been awarded $6.8 million in New York State and New York City Departments of Health funding to amplify its already robust prevention and treatment program for Bronx adults and youth over the next five years. The three grants secured since last World AIDS Day, are all focused on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) including the LGBTQ+ community.

Montefiore

One in four new HIV diagnoses in New York City happens in the Bronx. Most of the individuals impacted by this virus identify as Black or Hispanic and are under 40 years old.

"We have made tremendous strides in addressing HIV and AIDS. But since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, communities of color and people who identify as LGBTQ+ remain at higher risk and unacceptable disparities remain," said Barry Zingman, M.D., the principal investigator at Montefiore for all three grants and Medical Director of the Montefiore AIDS Center. "The funding from New York State and City allows us to expand services, and enhance our team with more counselors, patient educators and mental health support to ensure our patients obtain the comprehensive care required to meet their medical and psychosocial needs, both to optimally treat those living with HIV and to prevent it in people who are at higher risk. Importantly, the new funding also enables us to increase services that will help us to identify and address barriers to care like lack of healthy food, unhealthy living conditions and unstable housing."

The three grants include:

  1. Advancing Health Equity through Comprehensive Community-Based HIV Ambulatory Care Services: Component A, Retention and Adherence Program (for The Center for Positive Living/ID Clinic): focuses on both newly diagnosed patients and those who were previously diagnosed who are on antiretroviral therapy that has failed to suppress their viral load (associated with decreased survival and increased HIV transmission). The goal is to help these individuals, particularly people who have been impacted by racial discrimination, trauma and stigma, tackle a range of challenges related to health disparities like limited English proficiency, educational and transportation barriers. By addressing these challenges, the goal is to help people consistently access comprehensive care and maximize opportunities for viral load suppression, which in turn leads most to a long, healthy life with HIV and prevents transmission of the virus to others.  
  2. Advancing Health Equity through Comprehensive Community-Based HIV Ambulatory Care Services: Component B, Centers for Young Adults (for The Oval Center at Montefiore): enables Montefiore to provide 13–29-year-old BIPOC LGBTQ+ Bronx patients living with HIV, with comprehensive primary, HIV and mental health care. The goal of the program is to have Montefiore's multidisciplinary staff, consisting of infectious disease specialists, outreach specialists, social workers, peer navigators, patient educators and more to assist historically underserved patients in improving self-management of their HIV disease. Montefiore will also help this population with addressing challenges like lack of medication, difficulty adhering to medical appointments, food insecurity and feelings of isolation and depression.
  3. 24-PHC-165P for PlaySure Network 2.0 in Health Care Settings: a high performing site since the start of this funding in 2022, Montefiore earned more funding in 2023 to increase screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and to improve access to medicines like PrEP and PEP (pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis) that prevent HIV. There is a continued focus on the impact of housing, transportation and education. Funding also supported activities to address MPOX (formerly called "monkeypox") which disproportionately affects gay, bi, trans and other men who have sex with men, as well as other racial and ethnic minority groups in New York City. Montefiore has been one of the largest evaluation and treatment site for MPOX in New York State and one of the first to offer MPOX vaccines on-site, ensuring that populations experiencing the greatest health disparities in the region do not suffer from lack of vaccine access.

"For more than 20 years, the Montefiore AIDS Center has proudly served the Bronx and surrounding areas, and more recently opened The Jacobs Family Pride Wellness Center (JFPWC) of Montefiore Nyack Hospital, the first LGBTQ+-focused medical center in the Hudson Valley," continued Dr. Zingman, who is also professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and clinical director, infectious diseases, at the Moses division of Montefiore Health System. "Our experience consistently reinforces the importance of regularly learning from and caring for our communities, particularly people who are stigmatized and might be distrustful and disengaged from the healthcare system. Having these additional funds and support from the State and City will help us make a real difference in people's lives and we hope will create opportunities to recognize and celebrate our achievements on future World AIDS Days."

Yesterday, The Oval Center, part of the Montefiore AIDS Center, was awarded a NYS DOH Commissioner's Special Recognition Award in the HIV category and The Jacobs Family Pride Wellness Center of Montefiore Nyack Hospital was awarded a Commissioner's Special Recognition Award in the LGBTQ+ category, at New York DOH's Annual World AIDS Day event.

About Montefiore Health System

Montefiore Health System is one of New York's premier academic health systems. It is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. It comprises ten hospitals, including the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, and over two hundred outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information, please visit www.montefiore.org. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or view us on Facebook and YouTube.

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SOURCE Montefiore Health System

By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 01 Dec 2023
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