HHS Selects Phase 2 Winners of National HIV and Aging Challenges

Content From: HIV.govPublished: September 21, 20235 min read



Ten organizations have won the second phase of two national competitions worth $500,000 each that focus on HIV and aging and long-term survivors. The competitions were organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy and the HHS Administration for Community Living.

The “Innovations for Needs of People Aging with HIV/Long-term Survivors in Urban Communities” Challenge and “$500,000 Rural HIV and Aging Challenge” support innovative efforts that help improve health outcomes for people aging with HIV and long-term survivors, particularly among racial and ethnic minority and LGBTQI+ populations. The challenges were split into two phases. In the first phase, twenty winners were awarded $15,000 each for their design of concept. In the second phase, the 20 winners began small-scale testing of their concepts. Winners of the second phase were awarded $70,000 each.

The challenges are funded by the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund (MHAF), which aims to improve HIV prevention, care, and treatment for racial and ethnic minorities through supporting innovative solutions that address critical emerging needs. MHAF also works to improve federal investments' efficiency, effectiveness, and impact on HIV programs and services for racial and ethnic minorities. The challenges are also part of actions identified in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Federal Implementation Plan(PDF, 706KB).

The five Phase 2 Urban Challenge winners are:

Urban Challenge Map

Loneliness Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (LONE-SBIRT): A Public Health Model for Addressing Loneliness in People Aging with HIV

Camden, New Jersey

Loneliness increases premature death from all causes. They developed a Loneliness, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (LONE-SBIRT) model to combat loneliness in people aging with HIV. It included a 5-minute educational module on loneliness, loneliness screening, review of screening results during a brief intervention, and development of a loneliness elimination plan with referral to a menu of services that patients choose from a Loneliness Elimination System of Care.

HIV Supportive Services Program

Detroit, MI

The Alzheimer's Association Michigan Chapter has developed and small-scale tested Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (ADRD) and HIV Associated Neurocognitive Dementia (HAND) education programs and created materials for PLWH and residing in urban communities, as well as their care partners and non-clinician professionals, aimed at increasing HAND and ADRD knowledge and symptom awareness and encouraging early detection and diagnosis. The Chapter is seeking to scale the program further and conduct additional testing of its efficacy.

Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco-based Openhouse + On Lok Community Day Services (CDS) is the nation’s first certified adult day program created with and for LGBTQ+ seniors and older adults living with HIV. With this project, CDS worked with participants with lived experience to develop staff training on delivering trauma-informed care for HIV survivors. CDS will also offer scholarships to participants living with HIV who do not qualify for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly or other assistance programs.

Aging Re-Focused

Chicago, IL

Aging Re-Focused centered the voices of aging LGBTQ+ adults and persons with HIV in advocacy efforts for healthcare equity. The project engaged the community through photovoice, a participatory method for data collection and evaluation that uses photography to give individuals the opportunity to voice ideas for programs and policy change. This program uplifted the needs of aging people to advocate for culturally responsive services by developing their capacity to lead health equity efforts.

The Age Positively Program Town Hall Initiative

Boston, MA

The Age Positively Program Town Hall Initiative offered core programming to enhance health literacy for self-efficacy through the following objectives:

1. Provide expert-informed and patient-friendly relevant health care content and enhance attendee health literacy for self-efficacy.

2. Enhance attendee awareness of available clinical, governmental, and community programs for people living with HIV aged 50 and over.

3. Foster community and a sense of belonging

The five Phase 2 Rural Challenge winners are:

Rural Challenge Map2
Program NameLocationDescription

PATH2Digital_Connection: CHN Tablet and Hotspot Lending Program

Rural Regions of Colorado

This program bridged the digital divide and expanded proven quality of life interventions for rural older PLWH through a tablet/hotspot lending program. Utilizing intersectional, person-centered approaches to inform development, implementation, and evaluation, this program addressed health inequities and virtual access for clients, expanding access to preexisting holistic wellness and comprehensive geriatric screening initiatives designed to improve the health outcomes of people aging with HIV.

Televeda: Building digital communities, infrastructure, trust, and telecare for rural aging Native Americans with HIV

Navajo Nation, AZ

Televeda developed novel Virtual Talking Circles & Storytelling interventions for rural Native Americans. They reimagined the peer-support group model to be culturally appropriate for Native American populations and embedded traditional community-based healing interventions such as Storytelling & Talking Circles to support HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ 2-Spirit services.

Providing for Rural Aging HIV Patients (PRAHP) Plan

Baton Rouge, LA

The Providing for Rural Aging HIV Patients Plan, or PRAHP, sought to enhance the capacity of community-based organizations and AIDS service organizations to serve rural, aging people living with HIV, as well as to increase the mobilization of resources to rural communities. This plan sought to leverage a combination of community health workers and telemedicine to reduce transportation-based barriers and improve social determinants of health through screening and linkage to care.

We T.H.R.I.V.E.: Virtual Advocacy through Storytelling

Beaumont, TX

Through an intentional collaboration with rural partner, TAN (Triangle AIDS Network) in Beaumont, TX, The T.R.U.T.H. Project proposed the launch of We T.H.R.I.V.E. Virtual Advocacy that would be launched within the AIDS Service Organization located in the region and counties. By utilizing the power of storytelling, TTP aimed to utilize virtual spaces like websites, social media, email distribution lists, and in-person waiting rooms to access and influence physical and sexual health discussions.

Project Seasons (Georgia Department of Public Health and Department of Human Services)

Rural Counties in Georgia

Project Seasons is a collaboration between the Georgia Department of Public Health, Office of HIV/AIDS, and the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services. Project Seasons aimed to equip individuals over 50 living with HIV in rural areas with the skills, knowledge, and information needed to effectively navigate their health choices and enhance their overall well-being.

For more on HIV and aging, visit the 2023 National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day resource blog and be sure to view Harold Phillip’s FYI video.