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Indian Health Service receives $5 million to prevent HIV

Among those who live with HIV, Indigenous peoples have the largest percentage of people with undiagnosed HIV infections.

Indian Health Service is receiving $5 million for the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative. This is the first time the service has received funding for the initiative and the money will be used to treat, diagnose and prevent HIV and hepatitis C in Indian Country.

Elizabeth Fowler, the acting director of the Indian Health Service, said this money will be used to help support Indigenous peoples who are at risk or living with HIV with culturally-appropriate support and services.

“We are excited about this new funding opportunity for Indian Country to address diagnosis, treatment and prevention activities that are aimed at eliminating disparities and reducing HIV’s impact,” Fowler said.

The initiative’s goal is to reduce the epidemic by at least 90% in eight years.

Since the 1980s, progress has been made against HIV, but Indian Health Service officials say not everyone is benefitting equally from national interventions. Officials say one barrier preventing people from receiving health care services is stigma surrounding the virus.

Over $2 million of the funding will go toward three-year cooperative agreements for tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations to address HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections. Another $1.5 million is set aside for clinical training, and the remaining sum will go toward national infrastructure and media campaign.

The Biden Administration requested $52 million in the 2023 fiscal year for the Indian Health Service to treat and lower the transmission rate of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Anna Pope is a reporter covering agriculture and rural issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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