In September, during the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA), AIDS.gov shared information about and launched new web pages that describe the work of the Secretary's Minority AIDS Initiative Fund (SMAIF). SMAIF funds innovative projects to improve HIV prevention and care in communities of color. The new pages will make it easier for people to learn about SMAIF and the best and promising practices coming out of these projects.
SMAIF funding creates new avenues for federal agencies to work together and to promote lasting changes across the U.S. Government's HIV prevention and care portfolio. SMAIF supports cross-agency demonstration projects that test innovative strategies and solutions. Those projects provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to implement best practices to improve HIV prevention, care, and health outcomes for minority communities. The projects work to build the capacity of providers to deliver high-quality services to communities of color that have been hit the hardest by HIV. SMAIF funding totals $54 million each year. Even though the funds are distributed to federal agencies, the bulk of these resources go out to health departments and community-based organizations through funding opportunity announcements to serve communities of color.
SMAIF staff led multiple workshops at USCA to highlight the successes and innovative approaches of projects like Partnerships for Care (P4C) and Community HIV/AIDS Model Prevention Services (CHAMPS).
While many conference participants were familiar with these projects, they were not always aware that SMAIF funded them -- or even what "SMAIF" stands for. So we asked them: "What is SMAIF?" Here's what we learned ...