APLA Health Gets Federal Grant for HIV Prevention in Trans Community

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen APLA Health as one of only seven organizations nationwide to receive a $1.9 million grant to establish a new HIV prevention program focusing on young transgender people of color, ages 18-29, and their partners.

The five-year grant is for community-based organizations that work with those most impacted by HIV. APLA Health is the only such organization in California to receive the award specifically for the transgender program. Grant funding began on April 1 and will run until March 31, 2022.
apla healthAs a federally qualified health center serving the LGBT community, APLA Health is uniquely positioned to create and implement

The new HIV prevention program is called “Trans Connections.” Trans Connections focuses on South Los Angeles and Long Beach and works to reduce new HIV infections and increase access to medical care among young transgender people of color and their partners.

“We’re honored to be one of only seven organizations in the country selected for this critically needed funding,” said Terry L. Smith, director of HIV prevention services at APLA Health. “In addition to high rates of HIV, young transgender people of color face many barriers to accessing quality medical care from knowledgeable providers and often deal with stigma and discrimination in other aspects of their daily lives. Trans Connections is designed to address their needs in a holistic way, not simply offering services in one area to leave needs in another.”

In an announcement of the grant, APLA Health said will provide medical, social and support services from its Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills. In Long Beach, it will provide medical care from its Long Beach Health Center and is partnering with the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, which will provide access to legal and social support services.

“This grant is a blessing for our community,” said Porter Gilberg, executive director of the Long Beach LGBTQ Center. “We are thrilled to partner with APLA Health to collectively serve one of the most under-resourced communities in Long Beach.”

A CDC press release announcing the awards, said the recipients of them “will work to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care, and promote health equity by:

— Increasing HIV testing and linking those who test positive to HIV medical care

— Increasing referrals to partner services

— Providing prevention and essential support services for people living with HIV and those at high risk of becoming infected

“Recent scientific advances have given us powerful new strategies to stop HIV, including improved testing techniques, early treatment with antiretroviral medications, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP),” the CDC announcement said. “This new funding program will help accelerate efforts to deliver these advances to the people who need them most.”