The funds come from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and will establish 7 fulltime public health positions to advance the County's Getting to Zero Initiative.
The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors today voted to accept $9.5 million over five years from the U.S. Center for Disease Control to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Diego County. The 5-0 vote also ensures seven fulltime positions in public health services will be added to advance the County of San Diego’s Getting to Zero Initiative.
“This grant enables us to help more people who are already living with, or vulnerable to HIV, receive the services they need to achieve optimal health outcomes,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. "These funds together with the seven new positions to help administer the programs will be vital on our journey to eliminate HIV in San Diego County by 2026.”
The County’s Getting to Zero Initiative has five components: Test, Treat, Prevent, Engage and Improve. The grant will expand existing programs and create new ones, including:
- expanding services for persons who inject drugs,
- increasing uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (medication that suppress the HIV virus),
- developing a mobile phone application that will serve as a digital resource guide,
- supporting additional healthcare settings in implementing routine HIV testing, and
- increasing funding for benefits navigation for persons living with or vulnerable to HIV infection.
In 2019, there were 368 newly diagnosed HIV cases in San Diego County, which is a decrease of 26% from the 499 diagnosed cases in 2016. Despite the reduction, HIV continues to be a major public health concern in San Diego County, with an average of one new HIV diagnosis every day.
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