With a commitment of more than $2.2 million annually for five years, from the Centers for Disease Control, the Connect to Protect Memphis Coalition is launching a plan to eliminate new HIV infections in Memphis by 2030.
The Connect to Protect Memphis Coalition is an active network of HIV prevention and care providers that includes the local health department, HIV service organizations, community- and faith-based organizations, clinicians, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. The organization, funded by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, began developing a plan in 2017 to combat the growth in HIV infections in Memphis. According to the organization’s statistics, new HIV infection rates continue to remain high in the Black community, with 84% of new infections occurring among the Black population. Males and young adults aged 15–34 years comprise the other groups that have seen increased infection rates.
The End HIV 901 Plan has a list of goals that include reducing the number of new HIV infections to 75% by 2025; reducing HIV-related disparities, health inequities and stigma; implementing plans that help improve access to care and treatment for people living with HIV; and working toward having 90% of people with HIV know their status, receive care and have an undetectable HIV viral load. The End HIV 901 planning members identified and shared best practices, and together recommended new policies, operations and ways to eliminate redundancies.
Those initiatives include:
- Development of a centralized repository of information for clients and providers to identify local testing locations, pre-exposure prophylaxis, syringe service programs and antiretroviral therapy and social services providers
- Startup of a community mobile unit to provide testing, prevention, treatment and response activities
- Creation of a social media campaign using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms along with a new website to increase testing, combat stigma and increase awareness of HIV-related disparities and health inequities through various artistic media including photography, live music and monologues
The END HIV 901 planning members are committed to continue cross-agency collaboration to build out a community-driven End HIV 901 plan in a safe, collective environment.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.