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Press Release

Iris House Recipient of Three Federal Grant Awards

November 9, 2010

New York, NY -- Iris House, the country's first community-based organization meeting the needs of women, families and at-risk communities infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, today announced it is the recipient of three federal grant awards to support its mission: a grant from the Office on Women's Health (OWH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and a grant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement activities to prevent primary and secondary HIV transmission in women and young girls.

The Office on Women's Health grant was awarded to four national organizations, out of over 80 applicants. Iris House was the only organization in the Tri-State area to be awarded a grant. Under the program, Leading Ladies, Iris House will work to build the capacity of African American and Latino churches in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia to do HIV awareness and education work. This will include interventions for women in faith-based organizations, training Leading Ladies to deliver ongoing HIV and women's health workshops at the church and providing technical assistance to faith-based organizations to deliver health fairs which would include HIV testing. Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement and Voces Latinas will serve as partners on this program. The project funding totals $250K per year for four years. It also fits into the National AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan.

The SAMHSA grant, valued at $1.5M, allocates funds over five years to promote HIV prevention. Iris House will work with heterosexual and gay African American men through barbershops, bars and other venues. This program allows the agency to expand its services for men, especially given that most of the women served by the agency were infected through heterosexual contact. The agency will implement social marketing, prevention interventions and outreach within these populations through this new program.

Iris House also has signed a grant with the CDC to work with HIV positive women and at-risk young women using two CDC evidence based interventions, WILLOW and SIHLE. The mission is to provide comprehensive services and advocacy for women, families and communities infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, while simultaneously providing prevention and education services for at-risk communities. Iris House will work with local hospitals to deliver WILLOW and with churches in New York to deliver SIHLE, as well as community organizations such as Harlem Children's Zone and youth at Iris House through its own YOU! Young, Outstanding + Unique program. Iris House will offer a peer-led, social-skills training intervention aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behavior among African American teenage females aged 14-18 and HIV positive women ages 18 and up in East/Central Harlem and the South Bronx. The goal is to engage at-risk women in HIV and STI prevention interventions. The project funding totals $1,686,236M over five years.

Ingrid Floyd, the Executive Director of Iris House, stated, "We are pleased with the commitments we have received to further our activities with diverse groups within our overall focus on AIDS and HIV infection. The SAMHSA grant will allow Iris House to offer expanded services to heterosexual men, an often overlooked population, and our program with the CDC will allow us to work with youth to prevent future infections and unwanted pregnancies. In addition, we are proud to have been awarded a grant from the Office on Women's Health out of the pool of applicants, and we anticipate Iris House will work with an average of 30 organizations and reach at least 600 people per year through the Leading Ladies program. The next few years will bring greater outreach and education to populations most in need. We look forward to making a change and improving lives."

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This article was provided by Iris House.
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