The D.C. Department of Health last month awarded a $50,000 grant for HIV treatment-related services to Casa Ruby, an LGBT community center with a special outreach to the LGBT Latino and transgender communities.
Michael Kharfen, director of the DOH’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA), said the grant, which could be extended to up to three years, calls on Casa Ruby to provide treatment adherence services to transgender people and African immigrants in an area covering D.C. and parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
“They will be working with persons who are living with HIV, helping them be successful in their treatments so that they are adherent to their medications, that they are making their medical visits, and that they are getting other kinds of services that they may need,” Kharfen said.
“We did a competitive request for applications, they applied and they were awarded the grant through that competitive process,” he said.
“This is exciting for us because we are now becoming a partner with the HIV/AIDS administration,” Corado told the Blade. “And I’m very optimistic that this will lead to opportunities for us to do work in our community with prevention, which is something that we really need given the high numbers that have just been reported,” she said.
Corado was referring to the recently released annual D.C. AIDS report, which shows that while the overall number of new HIV infections diagnosed in the city continues to decline the highest number of new infections remains within the category of men who have sex with men (MSM).