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Center on Halsted receives $1.6M for HIV prevention
News update posted Sept. 30, 2011
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2011-10-05

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The Center on Halsted and CALOR have both been awarded more than $1.6 million dollars each by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) to expand services for African American and Latino gay and bisexual men.

The Center on Halsted announced the awards Sept. 30.

The Center grant, aimed at HIV prevention and totaling $1,665,590, will be distributed over the course of five years and provide services for approximately 1,400 young queer men.

The CALOR grant, also to be disbursed over five years for prevention services, will serve 3,000 queer men of color.

"HIV and AIDS is still a life-threatening epidemic—especially in the African-American and Latino communities which are facing increasing rates of infection," said Modesto "Tico" Valle, CEO of the center, in a press statement. "Thanks to this grant, we can empower members of our community most adversely affected by HIV and AIDS."

Brian Richardson, a spokesperson for the Center, said that the grant could result in four or five new hires for his organization.

The Center will use the grant towards starting the "Mpowerment Project," a program used nationally to combat HIV among young gay and bisexual men. That project will be administered collaboratively between the Center, Affinity Community Services, Chicago House and the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus.

"United, we can help reach and empower more individuals, which will in turn save lives," said Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO of Chicago House, in the announcement.

The project will serve young men ages 13-29, Richardson said.

CALOR will use the money to implement a variety of intervention programs, including the "MPowerment" model, "Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services" and "Choosing Life: Empowerment! Action! Results!"

"This grant comes to CALOR at a time when the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases city-wide are on the rise among youth" said Rosa E. Martínez Col�"n, assistant director of CALOR in press statement.

Both awards are part of a $55 million program to combat HIV/AIDS in among gay, bisexual and transgender youth of color. Thirty-four organizations received awards nationwide.

The CDC estimates that between 2006-2009, the number of new HIV infections among young Black MSMs ( men who sleep with men ) increased 48 percent.


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