According to new research from the CAEAR Coalition Foundation, Ryan White CARE Act Title I grantees report that new federal funds designated through the Minority AIDS Initiative ( MAI ) have had an important impact on: the availability of services and access to care for people of color with HIV/AIDS; the attention given in the community planning process to the service needs of minorities living with HIV/AIDS; and the capacity of minority community-based organizations to serve these populations. Grantees also report an increase in the number of minorities served and the number of minorities participating in community planning.
'Public health officials on the front lines of this epidemic have witnessed firsthand how the Minority AIDS Initiative has expanded access to care for people of color living with HIV/AIDS and strengthened the role of minority organizations that serve them,' said Antigone Hodgins, executive director of the CAEAR Coalition Foundation. 'By focusing public attention on the needs of disproportionately affected minority communities, the MAI has served as a lifeline in urban areas hardest hit by the epidemic.'
Title I of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency ( CARE ) Act provides funds to the 51 U.S. communities hardest hit by AIDS. The 'grantee' is the lead local public health agency in each community that administers the funds in collaboration with local planning councils comprised of community leaders, health providers, and consumers. Congress created the MAI in 1999 to address the disproportionate impact of HIV in communities of color and improve HIV-related health outcomes for these populations. Overall funding for the MAI was $409 million in FY 2003, with $43.8 million of this total targeted to Title I communities.
Over half of the grantees reported three significant challenges implementing the MAI initiative. These include the collection of client-level outcome data, the requirement that capacity-building activities be linked to outcome data, and accommodating shifting federal requirements regarding the use of MAI funds.
The full report is available at www.caear.org/foundation/publications.htm.