September 17, 2016
This article originally appeared on AIDS.gov.
As the 2016 U.S. Conference on AIDS got underway in Hollywood, Florida, on September 16, one of the first workshops put a spotlight on several activities supported by the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF). Several presentations by federal colleagues and grant recipients demonstrated the reach and impact that SMAIF is having in responding to HIV among communities of color.
One of the innovative practices shared was the CHAMPS Training Program launched by Community Education Group (CEG) of Washington, DC. With support of a four-year grant from the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) that was supported by SMAIF resources, the CHAMPS program recruited, trained, and hired individuals recently released from incarceration, people with histories of substance abuse, and people living with HIV to go out into their communities – the neighborhoods most heavily impacted by HIV in the nation’s capital – to provide community-based HIV services. Those individuals then went out to neighborhood venues to conduct HIV prevention outreach, testing, and prompt linkage to care.