National Indian Health Outreach and Education II – Behavioral Health and HIV/AIDS
The purpose of these cooperative agreements is to further Indian Health Service (IHS) health program objectives in the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) community with awareness, visibility, advocacy, and education efforts for the Behavioral Health (BH) and HIV/AIDS programs on a national scale and in the interest of improving Indian health care. This announcement includes two separate awards, each of which will be awarded as noted below. The purpose of the BH award is to promote behavioral health as central to the health and well-being of AI/AN communities. The purpose of the HIV/AIDS award is to further the goals of the national HIV/AIDS program. HIV and AIDS are a critical and growing health issue within the AI/AN population. The IHS National HIV/AIDS Program seeks to avoid complacency and to increase awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on AI/ANs. All activities are part of the IHS's implementation plan to meet the three goals of the President's National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) to reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV, increase access to care and optimize health outcomes for people living with HIV, and reduce HIV-related disparities. This population faces additional health disparities that contribute significantly to the risk of HIV transmission such as substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections. Amongst AI/AN people, HIV/AIDS exists in both urban and rural populations (and on or near Tribal lands); however, many of those living with HIV are not aware of their status. These statistics, risk factors, and missed opportunities for screening illuminate the need to go beyond raising awareness about HIV and begin active integration of initiatives that will help routinize HIV services. If the status quo is unchanged, prevalence will continue to increase and AI/AN communities may face an irreversible problem. Therefore, the National HIV/AIDS Program is working to change the way HIV is discussed, to change and improve the way HIV testing is integrated into health services, and to firmly establish linkages and access to care. The IHS HIV/AIDS Program is implemented and executed via an integrated and comprehensive approach through collaborations across multi-health sectors, both internal and external to the agency. It attempts to encompass all types of service delivery 'systems' including IHS/Tribal/Urban facilities. The IHS HIV/AIDS Program is committed to realizing the goals of the President's NHAS and has bridged the objectives and implementation to the IHS HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan.