“We are thrilled,” said Ron Simmons, president and CEO of Us Helping Us. “This grant will allow us to continue the vital work we do preventing HIV infection among black gay/same-gender-loving men and caring for those who are infected,” he said.
The CDC announcement says Us Helping Us is one of 90 community-based organizations throughout the country to receive a total of $216 million in grant funds over a five-year period.
According to the announcement, the selected groups will “deliver effective HIV prevention strategies to those at greatest risk, including people of color, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender individuals and people who inject drugs.”
“The organizations we’re funding have a strong foothold in the hardest-hit communities,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS. “They have the credibility and experience needed to deliver the most effective HIV prevention strategies to those who need them most.”
The announcement says the grant period began July 1 and ends in 2020. Us Helping Us, which is located at 3636 Georgia Ave., N.W., will receive its grant funding in annual installments of $350,000.
Us Helping Us says the programs it will operate under the grant will target black gay men and trans individuals, and will include HIV counseling and testing, screenings for sexually transmitted infections and Hepatitis C, and two behavioral interventions. One of the interventions targets HIV-positive men and the other is directed toward high-risk HIV negative men, the group says in its statement.
“I want to thank the staff that helped us to write this grant,” said Ernest Walker, director of programs for Us Helping Us. “It was a very competitive application, open to organizations nationwide. They should be very proud.”
The CDC announcement says four other D.C. based community organizations received grants under the CDC program — Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc.; La Clinica del Pueblo; Sasha Bruce Youthwork and Women’s Collective.