The HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) is sponsoring a community listening session to hear about the ways that the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF) might help to further improve HIV prevention and care for transgender women of color. During this community listening session, 11 volunteer speakers from organizations across the country will provide their ideas and suggestions. The event will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2016, from 2:00-3:30 pm (ET) via webinar.Webinar participation is open to the public. Please register by close of business on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.
The listening session will begin with opening remarks from Dr. Amy Lansky, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, followed by an overview of the SMAIF. Most of the webinar session will be used to hear from the community about potential ways that the SMAIF might support efforts to prevent new HIV infections and improve HIV-related health outcomes among transgender women of color.
The SMAIF promotes innovation, addresses critical emerging issues, and has established new collaborations across federal agencies to improve the national response to HIV. SMAIF projects are significant in that they are designed to complement – not duplicate – other HIV activities and to create lasting changes in programs that improve the quality, efficiency, and impact of HIV programs that serve racial and ethnic minorities. SMAIF has supported prior projects that focus on transgender persons. See HIV.gov’s page on the SMAIF for more information.
How to Eliminate Barriers to HIV Prevention and Care for Transgender Women of Color? Organizations Respond:
In response to a call for speakers, leaders from a variety of organizations from across the nation volunteered on a first-come, first-served basis to answer the following questions:
- What are the most important barriers to improving HIV prevention and care for transgender women of color that you think the SMAIF might help address?
- What are your recommendations for activities to address these barriers?
Scheduled community speakers are:
- JoAnne Keatley, MSW, Director, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
- Kim Watson, Co-Founder/Vice-President, Community Kinship Life
- Leo Rennie, Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, American Psychological Association
- Cecilia Chung, Senior Strategist, Transgender Law Center
- Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C, Assistant Professor, Center for AIDS Research, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Luis Freddy Molano, MD, Vice President of Infectious Diseases and LGBTQ Programs, Community Healthcare Network
- Prizilia Dajia Vidal, Foster Youth, LGBTQIA, and HIV/AIDS Activist
- Octavia Lewis, MPA, Project Manager, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital
- Sean Coleman, Executive Director, Destination Tomorrow
- Danielle Castro, MA, Project Director, Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF
- Bamby Salcedo, President and CEO, TransLatin@Coalition
If your organization is not on the list of speakers for the webinar, OHAIDP invites you to submit a written response to the two questions above to Caroline Talev, MPA, at Caroline.Talev@hhs.gov by close of business on Thursday, December 8, 2016. Please include your permission for OHAIDP to share your comments, which will be available to the public on HIV.gov.
Research shows that transgender communities in the United States are among those at highest risk for HIV infection. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) notes that, historically, our efforts focused on this population have been limited. However, since the NHAS was launched in 2010, the federal government has been making strides in improving its response. The updated Strategy identifies transgender women, especially Black transgender women, as one of the key populations disproportionately affected by HIV for whom we must prioritize interventions.
We encourage you to join the webinar as we continue to work together to prevent new HIV infections among transgender women of color and to improve the health of those who are living with HIV!