CDC awards $339 million to health departments for HIV-prevention

WiG

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun awarding about $339 million to state and local health departments across the United States to fund HIV prevention activities in 2012.

The awards are for the first year of a five-year funding cycle and represent a new direction for HIV funding designed to achieve a higher level of impact with every federal HIV prevention dollar spent, according to a news release from the CDC.

The awards are a critical component of the CDC’s new high-impact approach to HIV prevention and better align resources to reflect the geographic burden of the HIV epidemic. The CDC also is providing health departments with new, specific guidance for prioritizing the most effective prevention programs.

“With 50,000 new HIV infections every year and a tough economic environment, the need to do more with existing resources is greater than ever,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “This new approach to prevention funding is designed to focus on the places where needs are most urgent and on the programs that will have the most far-reaching impact. It will help us achieve the ambitious goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy with the efficiency and urgency the HIV epidemic demands.”

Funds were awarded to health departments in all 50 states, eight cities, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the six Pacific Island jurisdictions.

CDC will award an additional $20 million to health departments by March 2012 as part of this funding cycle to implement innovative HIV prevention demonstration projects. CDC is currently reviewing applications for this competitive round of funding.

“State and local health departments are the backbone of the nation’s HIV prevention efforts,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “This latest round of funding will help them lead the nation to slow, and ultimately end, the HIV epidemic in the United States – a public health imperative that could finally be achieved.”