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U.S. News

CDC Awards Richmond, Va., Health District $1.2 Million STD Prevention Grant

September 15, 2011

CDC has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant to help the Richmond City Health District network with community partners to fight STDs. Rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV in Richmond outpace both state and national averages.


"We have had many health department approaches to control infections, but we recognize now that we need to use more community engagement," said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

"We really are giving you the freedom to plan and implement whatever is important to your communities," Bolan told officials during a visit to Richmond.

"We have anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of our STD burden in the African-American population, when just over 50 percent of our population is African-American," said Dr. Danny Avula, the district's deputy director.

Partners in the effort include the Fan Free Clinic (FFC), the Minority Health Consortium (MHC), and programs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Three targets of the grant are to:

  • Reduce gonorrhea and chlamydia rates among African-Americans ages 15-29 by 20 percent by 2015.
  • Cut syphilis rates among African Americans ages 15-29, especially men who have sex with men, by 12 percent by 2015.
  • Reduce health disparities in STD rates.

"The bulk of the funding is actually going to evidence-based interventions," said Avula.

FFC's "Street Smarts" program targets high-risk youths, giving them information about condom usage and safe-sex practices, said Jihad Abdulmumit, an FFC case manager. MHC's "VOICES" intervention (Video Opportunities for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex) is a single-session program listed by CDC as among those proven to work.

Similar grants went to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio, Texas.

Back to other news for September 2011

Adapted from:
Richmond Times-Dispatch
09.13.2011; Tammie Smith

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More HIV Prevention Policy News on Mid-Atlantic U.S. States

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