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4.c.ii Increase early access to, and retention in, HIV care (Focus Area 1; Goal #2)

Project ObjectiveThis project will increase early access to, and retention in, HIV care.

Project DescriptionThis project is targeted at increasing the percentage of HIV-infected persons with a known diagnosis who are in care by 9% to 72% by December 31, 2017. This project is also targeted at increasing the percentage of HIV-infected persons with known diagnoses who are virally suppressed to 45% by December 31, 2017.


PMO: Duane Granston
Community Co-Lead: Debbie Witham, VIP Services
BLHC Co-Lead: Richard Cindrich, MD
BLHC Co-Lead: Lenny Vincente

Mar 26, 2018

Winter 2018 Update

The HIV workgroup meets weekly to discuss ways to improve access to HIV care and to develop the Peer workforce.  Many of the 19 graduates from last summer’s Peer certification training program have gained employment and some have already received their certification.  The Alliance for Positive Change continues to run support groups for the peer graduates twice a month where they develop useful workplace skills and share information about resources and opportunities. 
The project Leads participate in the City-wide Coalition where multiple PPSs collaborate on the overall goal of increasing the percentage of HIV-infected persons who are in care by 9% to 72%.  Several members of the workgroup also participate in and co-chair some of the sub-committees of the City-wide Coalition.

Nov 13, 2017

Fall 2017 Update

  • The HIV project workgroup continues to work on developing the peer workforce and establishing a case to the State for a billable rate for peer services.  They have partnered with The Alliance for positive change to conduct a peer certification training program.  13 participants completed Phase 1 - Foundational Training on September 8th.  10 of them continued on to Phase 2 - Certification Training along with an additional 13 new enrollees.  A graduation ceremony will take place at 12pm on Thursday, November 9th in the downstairs auditorium at 199 Mt. Eden Parkway for all who successfully complete the program.  They will then be eligible to sit for the NYS AIDS Institute Peer Certification exam.
  • In addition to the classroom training, which takes places in 3 full days per week over 6 weeks, the Alliance also provides group support meetings and 1-on-1 support sessions for peers.
  • The workgroup partners are currently working on developing a list of identifiers to submit to Steve Maggio in order to begin tracking peer interventions.  So far 1 partner has submitted a list to him and others except to follow in the next 2 weeks.  This is a part of the long term sustainability plan to show the effectiveness of peer interventions.

Jul 17, 2017

Project Update For April 2017

The workgroup has expanded to include 2 additional partners with peers now actively performing interventions to help increase access to and retention in HIV care.  The workgroup has also partnered with St. Barnabas and The Alliance for Positive Change (formerly known as ASCNYC) to offer a fully immersive Training Program for Peers in the Bronx to go through the training course with a cohort of other peer workers in the Bronx.  The training program will provide all of the training needs for peers to become Certified Peer Workers.  

Feb 28, 2017

Project Update For February 2017

In January 2017, the HIV Coalition Leads co-signed on a letter to the State addressing 3 issues that are of concern.

1.       Equal transparency in funding for Domain 4 projects as exists in Domains 2 and 3.

2.       HIV confidentiality to support collaborative care between multiple service providers.

3.       Clarification of the use of non-cash incentives for DSRIP efforts.

The BHA 4cii Workgroup continues development of its social media campaign.  Over the last several weeks they have selected a name, purchased a domain, and set up a website which is ready to go live once the group finishes populating it with services information.

BHA is taking the lead on collaborating on a peer training initiative this effort with fellow PPSs in the Bronx, namely BPHC and OneCity Health.  The Alliance for Positive Change (formerly ASCNYC) recently shared a draft budget of what the package would look like and it is being reviewed. 

The workgroup continues to engage partners in measuring the effectiveness of peer support services.  The decision was made to focus primarily on appointment adherence as a data point.  The goal is to show through data that peer interventions affect medical appointment adherence and reduce the no show rate.  This will have wider implications and provider a strong business case for on-going funding of peer interventions as a core service.  

Sep 30, 2016

Project Update for September 2016

The project workgroup is collecting data from the Peer Pilot Program to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Peer Navigators.  They have already seen an increase in the number of medical appointments kept due to peer intervention.  3 partners participated over the last 2 quarters and the group is anticipating the expansion of the program to include 2 additional partners next quarter.  There has been increased communication and collaboration between partner organizations as a result of the Open House format of the project workgroup meetings where every week a different partner will host the meeting on site at their facility.  The Peer supervisors also meet monthly to discuss problems, issues, and strategy.