(CDC news release) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun awarding a total of almost $339 million to state and local health departments across the United States to fund HIV prevention activities this year.
The awards are for the first year of a five-year funding cycle and represent a new direction for CDC HIV funding designed to achieve a higher level of impact with every federal HIV prevention dollar spent.
The awards are a critical component of CDC's new high-impact approach to HIV prevention and better align resources to reflect the geographic burden of the HIV epidemic today. As part of this funding announcement, CDC is also providing the health departments with new, specific guidance for prioritizing the most effective prevention programs that will have the greatest impact on reducing new HIV infections.
Providing funding to health departments has long been CDC's single largest investment in HIV prevention, accounting for approximately half of CDC's overall HIV prevention budget.
"With 50,000 new HIV infections every year and a tough economic environment, the need to do more with existing resources is greater than ever," Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention said in the news release. "This new approach to prevention funding is designed to focus on the places where needs are most urgent and on the programs that will have the most far-reaching impact. It will help us achieve the ambitious goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy with the efficiency and urgency the HIV epidemic demands."
Funds were awarded to health departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, eight U.S. territories and eight cities with heavy HIV burdens.
The funds are allocated to individual health departments according to a formula that better matches resources to the geographic burden of HIV, as measured by the number of people reported living with HIV in each jurisdiction. This new funding approach ensures that many areas with heavier HIV burdens receive urgently needed funding increases.
CDC will award an additional $20 million to health departments by March 2012 as part of this funding cycle to implement innovative HIV prevention demonstration projects. CDC is currently reviewing applications for this competitive round of funding.
"State and local health departments are the backbone of the nation's HIV prevention efforts," said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. "This latest round of funding will help them lead the nation to slow, and ultimately end, the HIV epidemic in the United States – a public health imperative that could finally be achieved."