For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, CA (October 8, 2013) — AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) today announced that it has received a $1.5 million five-year federal grant to promote positive health outcomes among Latinos living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Special Programs of National Significance (SPNS), APLA’s new program, Fuerza Positiva, will focus on serving HIV positive men who have sex with men (MSM) and Latina women of Mexican origin.
The goal of Fuerza Positiva is to increase linkage to care and adherence to anti-retroviral drug treatment among this population through increased case management, patient navigation and social support. Data indicates that HIV positive individuals who are linked to care and adhere to HIV drug regimens can reduce viral load (the amount of HIV in blood and semen) to undetectable levels. People with undetectable viral load are much less likely to transmit HIV infection to sexual partners.
“This project targets an especially vulnerable population,” said APLA Executive Director Craig E. Thompson. “We will address structural, financial, personal, and cultural barriers to care, including individual and group mental health services; ongoing care coordination services; and client-centered information and skill-building sessions.”
“AIDS Project Los Angeles has been and continues to be at the forefront of improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease,” said U. S. Rep. Xavier Becerra who represents California’s heavily Latino 34th Congressional District. “I know this grant will allow them to better serve the people that walk through their doors.”
“APLA’s service philosophy is rooted in the belief that providing culturally competent services is an indispensable component of improving the health and well-being of our clients,” Thompson added. “We look forward to working with our community partners to expand our ability to connect HIV-positive Latino MSM and Latina women to HIV primary care and supportive services.”
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. With more than 30 years of service, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach. For more information, visit apla.org.