IHS Program Targets HIV/AIDs in Young Natives

Collaboration between the CDC and IHS provides funding to groups to provide “culturally appropriate, high-quality HIV treatment,” to American Indians and Alaska Natives communities.


More than half of the new HIV diagnoses among American Indians and Alaska Natives are estimated to be among those aged < 35 years, according to the CDC. To improve HIV prevention and care outcomes, an ongoing collaboration between IHS and the CDC is funding cooperative agreements with First Nations Community HealthSource, Albuquerque, and Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Phoenix. The groups will receive up to $100,000 a year for up to 5 years for community health care services. “These awards increase access to culturally appropriate, high-quality HIV treatment for our American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Mary L. Smith, IHS principal deputy director.

First Nations, New Mexico’s urban Indian health center and a Federally Qualified Health Center, operates 2 clinic sites and 3 school-based health centers. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, representing 21 tribal governments, operates more than 30 projects and provides technical assistance and training to tribal governments in program planning and development, research and data collection, resource development, management and evaluation.

The awards support activities in 5 main areas:

  • Increasing access to comprehensive pre-exposure prophylaxis;
  • Identifying local-level priorities for HIV care needs and creating tools and resources;
  • Making it easier for people living with HIV and AIDS to stay in treatment;
  • Teaching people who inject drugs about reducing risks and extending access to services for medication-assisted therapies for people with opioid use disorder in accordance with federal, state, tribal, and local laws; and
  • Increasing age-appropriate prevention education at the local levels.

“This multiyear collaboration supports a sustained, in-depth HIV prevention program that will benefit not only tribes, but also American Indians and Alaska Natives in urban locations,” said Eugene McCray, MD, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “We are bringing services right to the local level, reaching American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

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