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For Release:
October 20, 2009

Heather Howard
Commissioner

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(609) 984-7160


 
New Jersey Awarded Additional Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS Programs


 

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has been awarded an additional $2.1 million in federal funds this year to support HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard announced today.

 

            About $1.5 million is additional funding for New Jersey’s AIDS Drug Distribution Program, which provides free medications to eligible people with HIV/AIDS.  The remaining $600,000 will help fund prevention efforts aimed at high-risk women and African American men, and enhance HIV testing technology at counseling and testing sites across New Jersey.

 

            New Jersey received the supplemental grant awards from the federal Health Resources Services Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

            “African-Americans and women are two groups that have been hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and this grant money will help us further expand our prevention efforts for these target populations,” Commissioner Howard said.  “Statewide, it will also help us offer the latest HIV testing at all of our testing sites as well as continue our strong support for our AIDS medications program.”

 

            The $600,000 in prevention money will fund the following programs:

 

  • Prevention for High-Risk Women – Outreach and some medical services at five sites in Atlantic City, Camden, Jersey City, Newark and Paterson for women of reproductive age who are injecting drug users. Women will be screened for pregnancy, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and referred for care.  Hepatitis B and other adult immunizations will be offered as needed.  Nurses will also provide education and support to help women remain HIV-negative or to stay in medical care if HIV-positive. 

 

  • African American Men who Have Sex with Men – The African American Office of Gay Concerns in Newark will be funded to initiate a media campaign in the Newark area to reduce risky behaviors and encourage this population to get tested for HIV.  The campaign will use updated methods of reaching men, including mobile technology to tell them where they can get tested for HIV.

 

  • HIV Testing Updates – DHSS is completing the phase-in of a new rapid test that can immediately confirm an initial HIV-positive test result.  The new test enables clients at the state’s counseling and testing sites to learn their status and get into treatment immediately, instead of having to return for their final test result.   DHSS is also planning to implement the latest HIV testing technology when it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  Tests now under development would be able to detect HIV infection sooner after a person’s exposure.

 The $600,000 in prevention funding is in addition to the $13 million in federal prevention funds New Jersey has received for 2009.

 

The additional $1.5 million in funding for the Health Resources Services Administration will help support the state’s $85 million AIDS Drug Distribution Program.  ADDP provides life-sustaining and life-prolonging medications to low-income people with no other source of payment for these drugs.  The New Jersey program serves about 7,400 people a year.

 

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