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HHS Announces $156.5 Million in Grants for HIV Prevention, Substance Abuse Programs for HIV-Positive, High-Risk Communities
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Wednesday announced 115 grants totaling $156.5 million, which will be administered by the agency's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to subsidize HIV prevention planning programs and substance abuse prevention and treatment services for people living with or at risk of contracting HIV, according to a SAMHSA release (SAMHSA release, 10/22). SAMHSA officials said that the grants are intended to help minority communities disproportionately affected by drug abuse and HIV, and the grants are meant to subsidize programs that "address both conditions simultaneously," the Chicago Tribune reports (Keilman, Chicago Tribune, 10/23). According to the release, the 71 five-year grants totaling $152 million will be aimed at treatment, outreach and prevention programs targeting the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities and other racial and ethnic minorities that have been "highly affected by the twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS." SAMHSA also awarded 44 one-year grants totaling $4.5 million for HIV-prevention planning. SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said, "The current trend in HIV/AIDS shows that a disproportionate number of minorities who live in inner cities are affected by or at risk for contracting HIV. Often this population is poor, hard to reach through traditional public health methods, and in need of a wide range of health and human services." Thompson said, "These grants will help a wide range of providers become familiar with the various issues surrounding substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, and should foster a comprehensive, community-based response to the challenge" (SAMHSA release, 10/22).
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