HHS funds inject millions into Georgia’s HIV battle

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The federal government awarded over $1 million to three Georgia health clinics last month to expand HIV prevention, treatment, outreach and care.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services are part of an initiative to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the U.S. by 90% by 2030. HHS gave about $369,000 to MedLink Georgia in Colbert (outside Athens), $345,000 to Palmetto Health Council in Atlanta and $338,000 to Recovery Consultants of Atlanta in Decatur.

The grant is “vital,” according to MedLink Georgia CEO Dave Ward.

“With the help of these resources, we will be able to make a big impact in the health of our communities by raising awareness of HIV prevention services available and increasing testing and treatment to improve health outcomes and decrease the risk of transmission of HIV,” Ward told Project Q Atlanta.

The three Georgia clinics joined 268 other grantees in 26 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia for a total HHS award of over $48 million.

Clinics like these are “a key point of entry to HIV prevention and treatment services,” according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“I am proud of the role they play in providing critical services to 1.2 million Americans living with HIV,” Becerra said in a press release. “Today’s awards will ensure equitable access to services free from stigma and discrimination while advancing the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Xavier Becerra, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (Photo courtesy HHS)

More for HIV in Georgia

HHS also announced its annual Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program funding for cities, counties, states and community organizations in the U.S. Recipients throughout Georgia received over $112 million of some $2.21 billion in Ryan White funding for fiscal year 2021.

The program serves nearly 560,000 low-income, uninsured and underinsured people living with HIV across the country.

“These funds support viral suppression that saves lives, reduces health disparities and slows the spread of HIV,” Becerra said earlier this month.

Here is the full list of grantees in Georgia:

  • Georgia ($71.2 million)
  • Atlanta ($28.2 million)
  • Columbus Department of Public Health ($490,000)
  • Southeast Health District ($495,000)
  • Chatham County Board of Health ($1.7 million)
  • Cherokee County Board of Health ($445,000)
  • Clarke County Board of Health ($547,000)
  • Clayton County ($285,000)
  • Cobb County Board of Health ($277,000)
  • DeKalb County Board of Health ($433,000)
  • Floyd County Board of Health ($299,000)
  • Hall County ($321,000)
  • Houston County ($606,000)
  • Laurens County Board of Health ($371,000)
  • Lowndes County Board of Health ($538,000)
  • Ware County Health Department ($690,000)
  • Augusta University ($1.2 million)
  • Emory University ($661,000)
  • AID Atlanta ($386,000)
  • Albany Area Primary Health Care ($910,000)
  • Augusta University Research Institute ($38,000)
  • Grady Memorial Hospital ($753,000)
  • Positive Health Impact Centers ($500,000)
  • St. Joseph’s Mercy Care Services ($707,000)

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