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HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 5, 2020

TargetHIV

Black Awareness Day 2011

Black/African American individuals comprise 47.1% of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program's (RWHAP) 531,349 clients, according to HRSA's RWHAP Annual Client-Level Data Report, 2018. Nearly three-quarters of RWHAP clients are from racial/ethnic minority populations.

Black/African Americans comprise 47.1% of RWHAP clients and have a viral suppression rate of 84.1%

From 2010 through 2018, viral suppression rates among RWHAP clients have steadily increased across all racial/ethnic populations, with an overall improvement of 69.5% to 87.1% over this time frame. For Blacks/African Americans, the rate increase was comparable, from 63.3% to 84.1% over this same time period. However, viral suppression has been consistently lower among Black/African American RWHAP clients as compared to other RWHAP race/ethnicity groups, although the gap has lessened over time.

HIV Viral Suppression by Gender

The RWHAP Annual Client-Level Data Report, 2018 also presents RWHAP viral suppression by gender and race/ethnicity. 

  • The rate of African American women who achieved viral suppression was lower (85.7%) than the overall average of 86.8% for all female RWHAP clients. (Table 11b)
  • The percentage of African American men who achieved viral suppression (83.3%) was lower than that of men overall (87.4%). (Table 12c)

  • The percentage of African American people who identify as transgender who achieved viral suppression (78.4%) was lower than the percentages for the transgender people overall (81.8%). (Table 13b)

African American RWHAP Initiatives

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, below is a recap of RWHAP Technical Assistance (TA), training, and other activities--from models of care to special initiatives. 

Improving Care for African Americans and Other Populations

HRSA has funded multiple technical assistance (TA) and training initiatives to improve services for African Americans and other minority populations. Initiatives are listed under these topics: Health Coverage (ACE TA Center); HIV Care Innovations (e.g., improved treatment for people of color co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C,  use of community health workers), and a Clinical Quality Management initiative to reduce disparities (end+disparities ECHO Collaborative). 

The RWHAP Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) program is part of the success with RWHAP client outcomes in its decades-long investigation of innovative models of HIV/AIDS care, including those focused on minority and underserved populations. 

Engaging Black MSM in Care

HRSA has supported numerous initiatives over the decades to enhance care delivery for hard-hit populations and to close the gap in outcomes for clients receiving RWHAP care and services.

  • His Health: Engaging Black MSM in HIV Care with a compendium of care models, training modules, and resources for enhanced linkage, retention, and engagement strategies targeting Black MSM. The site is designed for providers and offers continuing medical education (CME) and continuing nursing unit (CNU) credits for clinicians to increase their capacity to provide high-quality health care to Black MSM.
  • Well Versed is a conversation-starting resource for health care providers and Black MSM. This consumer-oriented website provides information about how to get the most out of health care by being active and informed.
  • In It Together, a National Health Literacy Project for Black MSM, is another recent HRSA-supported project designed to increase health professionals’ understanding and use of health literacy to improve engagement and retention in HIV care and treatment.

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