The Jersey City Medical Center received a $630,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Health for HIV education, treatment, and community outreach.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The Center for Comprehensive Care (CCC) at Jersey City Medical Center received the Elixir grant for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, which began on July 1.
The center provides individuals living with HIV in Hudson County with access to a multidisciplinary team that provides medical, case management, and supportive services.
“New therapies to treat HIV are available for residents of Hudson County at the Center for Comprehensive Care to help address what continues to be a global health challenge,” said JCMC Chief of Infectious Disease Dr. Adriana Grigoriu said in a statement.
“The continuum of care provided by the CCC fulfills a need to stop new HIV infections in our community and ensures that everyone has immediate access to HIV treatment.”
The funds will be used to provide ride shares for new and existing clients without the means to get to appointments for HIV treatment and PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, that can reduce a person’s chance of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use.
The funds will also be used to increase staffing for case management and expand office hours until 9 p.m. two days each week to improve access to HIV care.
“The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in 2022 has doubled compared to last year. The grant allows us to improve access to HIV prevention and treatment, utilizing innovative interventions, such as expanded case management hours and ride sharing,” added CCC Administrative Director Tri Nguyen.
“The sooner people are diagnosed and get access to HIV treatment, the sooner they can achieve HIV viral load suppression or undetectable status. That’s why access to HIV care right away is crucial.”
Having an undetectable HIV viral load can help prevent HIV transmission – ultimately, reducing new HIV infections, he added.
Furthermore, the center will also increase its community outreach efforts to raise awareness about the importance of knowing one’s HIV status and to link community members to resources for HIV prevention and treatment offered at the CCC.