WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the eve of National Women and Girls HIV/Aids Awareness Day, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced that the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services (NJDHSS) has been awarded $1.9 million for HIV prevention under the Center for Disease Control’s national HIV/AIDS strategy program.
This funding will go towards expanding its resources to implement and evaluate innovative, high impact HIV prevention interventions and strategies. To date, New Jersey has received approximately $17 million in HIV prevention funding under this CDC program.
“There are a reported 35,000 New Jerseyans living with HIV or AIDS and we simply cannot let this number increase every year as statistics tend to do. We can and must find and implement effective prevention programs – such as enhanced HIV screening techniques, comprehensive prevention education, condom distribution, advancing the use of technology to prevent infections and decreasing undiagnosed infections – that will have the greatest impact on combating HIV infections,” said Menendez. “This critical funding will help us get to that point where we’re seeing a decrease in cases. It’s a public health imperative that I believe can be achieved in our lifetime.”
In New Jersey, HIV/AIDS affects the African American community more than any other racial, ethnic or demographic group according to NJDHSS. One in 62 African Americans in New Jersey is living with AIDS as opposed to one in 701 Non-Hispanic Whites. Latinos comprise of 22% of all persons living with HIV/AIDS in the state. Menendez believes these programs should address the prevention challenges in the hardest hit communities.
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