HHS Selects Phase 2 Winners of the National Competition to Reduce HIV-Related Stigma and Disparities

Content From: Office Of Minority Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human ServicesPublished: June 30, 20223 min read


Cross-posted from OMH Newsroom

Group of people smiling

Seven organizations and individuals have won the second phase of the HIV Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP). The HIV Challenge, launched in July 2021, is designed to engage individuals, communities, and community-based organizations to identify innovative and practical approaches to reduce HIV stigma and disparities and increase uptake of HIV prevention and treatment among racial and ethnic minority communities.

“Promoting the sustainability and spread of successful health policies, programs, and practices to end the HIV epidemic is a top priority at OMH and across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” said RADM Felicia Collins, M.D., HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and OMH Director. “I congratulate our Phase 2 winners of the HIV Challenge and look forward to seeing their approaches in action for the third phase of the Challenge.”

“We have made remarkable progress in preventing and treating HIV in the U.S. and around the world, but our work is not finished,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease and the Director of OIDP, Kaye Hayes. “The HIV Challenge will help us to reengage and coordinate with our community partners for maximum and enduring impact for everybody, but especially populations who are disproportionally affected by HIV.”

The HIV Challenge is divided into three phases with a total award of $760,000. During Phase 1, the participants proposed innovative concepts for community engagement strategies to reduce stigma related to HIV prevention and treatment within a specific target population. In the first phase, 15 winners were chosen from more than 80 submissions from individuals and organizations around the United States.

During the second phase, the 15 participants expanded upon their winning concepts from Phase 1 by developing approaches that can enhance community engagement and mobilization approaches to reduce HIV stigma and disparities. Each of the seven Phase 2 winners will receive a prize of $40,000 and will advance to the third phase of the challenge.

In Phase 3, the seven Phase 2 winners will conduct small-scale testing on the dissemination and uptake of their approaches to demonstrate how well the target population accesses the approaches. A panel of judges, all federal employees, will select three Phase 3 participants as the overall HIV Challenge winners to receive a prize of $60,000 each.

For more information about the HIV Challenge, visit https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/HIVChallenge.

The Phase 2 awardees are:

Aima AhonkhaiTN
Edison College of Nursing and Health InnovationSC
Hispanic Health Initiatives, Inc.FL
Miguel BujandaCA
Pride Center of MarylandMD
Southside Health Advocacy Resource Partnership (S.H.A.R.P.)IL
Entre HermanoCA

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides public health and science advice to the Secretary, and oversees the Department’s broad-ranging public health offices, whose missions include minority health, HIV policy, women’s health, disease prevention, human research protections, and others. OASH also includes the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

The OASH Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) mission is to provide strategic leadership and management, while encouraging collaboration, coordination, and innovation among federal agencies and stakeholders to reduce the burden of infectious diseases.

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is dedicated to improving the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities.