From the office of Sen. Kay Hagan
October 9, 2012
Greensboro, NC – U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today applauded the news that DHHS will receive a grant of $5.6 million over the next three years to support new programs to combat HIV in the South, the region with the highest incidence of HIV in the country. DHHS will use the funding to engage community-based organizations and support activities designed to encourage more HIV testing for at-risk populations and link HIV-positive patients into care. According to data compiled by researchers at Duke University, more than 23,000 people are living with HIV or AIDS in North Carolina, the 10th highest in the nation.
“The incidence of HIV/AIDS in North Carolina and throughout the South is staggering,” said Hagan. “That’s why I convened a roundtable of experts and community leaders this summer in Washington, D.C. to develop new approaches to address this dire problem for our state and region. While we have seen signs of progress in North Carolina, we must do more. I’m pleased that new federal resources will be dedicated to increasing HIV testing, expanding specialty care, and educating at-risk North Carolinians about preventing and treating HIV/AIDS. The Department’s targeted programs will allow us to take on each of these challenges directly and forcefully.”
North Carolina is one of eight states, six of which are in the South, to receive grants through the Care and Prevention in the U.S. (CAPUS) demonstration project, an initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The DHHS-proposed initiatives are designed to:
· Engage community health care providers and increase HIV testing among those who may not realize they are at risk for the disease;
· Help ensure that patients who already have the disease will have access to better and continued care;
· Increase the use of data sharing by health care providers;
· Place patient advocates in communities to help people navigate their health care options;
· Increase tele-medicine options to rural areas of the state; and
· Educate providers about cultural and social barriers that may discourage testing and treatment and to reach out through community channels to normalize HIV testing and care.