A significant proportion of African Americans living with HIV/AIDS receive care under HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. In 2012, 46.7% of Ryan White clients were African American, according to HRSA’s State Profiles.
More importantly, the care that Ryan White provides makes a difference. Ryan White clients have higher rates of retention in care, and better viral suppression, compared with national data, although results lag somewhat for African American Ryan White clients.
The Ryan White infrastructure that makes these results possible is comprised of clinical protocols, care engagement models, and other activities that guide the delivery of HIV/AIDS care to populations served by the Ryan White program. The path to further progress can be found in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and its focus on reducing disparities–especially the HIV care continuum’s goal to maximize engagement in care and viral suppression–as well as the Affordable Care Act’s mission to expand health care coverage to all Americans.
African American Ryan White Initiatives
In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7 and this year’s theme “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS,” a recap of Ryan White technical assistance, training, and other activities–from models of care to special initiatives–is provided below:
Engaging Black MSM in Care
HRSA has supported numerous initiatives over the decades to enhance care delivery for hard-hit populations. Among the latest is the Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC), which is in the midst of identifying best practices and effective models for HIV care targeting Black men who have sex with men (BMSM).
Worth a Read
CEBACC’s focus group findings on key challenges and successful strategies.
Addressing Stigma: A Blueprint for Improving HIV/STD Prevention and Care Outcomes for Black & Latino Gay Men (NASTAD, 2014)
Optimal Care Checklists for MSM (NASTAD), 2012)
Innovations in Care Delivery
The Ryan White SPNS program is part of the success with Ryan White client outcomes in its decades-long investigation of innovative models of HIV/AIDS care, including those focused on minority and under served populations. One recent example is the Enhancing Access for Women of Color Initiative, 2009-2014.
Some of the findings from this project have been compiled in the implementation guide, Enhancing Access to HIV Care for Women of Color, developed under the IHIP: Integrating HIV Innovative Practices, a HRSA initiative that is turning SPNS innovation into practice with manuals, curricula, webinars, and tools.
Multiple SPNS projects target innovations for African Americans living with HIV/AIDS, including transgender women of color, young MSM of color, substance users (under the buprenorphine initiative), and persons in correctional settings or those soon to be released to the community.