Cisgender Black women face consistent disparities in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as a result of implicit bias, racism, sexism, and structural barriers. In the United States (U.S.), cisgender Black women accounted for 19% of new HIV infections in 2019, and 55% of new HIV infections among all women despite only being 13% of the U.S. female population. Those same barriers continue to perpetuate inequities in sexual health by limiting access to sexual services and uptake of highly effective HIV/STI prevention options. Improving the sexual health of Black women is a public health issue of high importance due to the potential negative impact STIs and HIV have on health systems and the social, sexual, and reproductive health of Black women. To address this public health need, this study aims to advance access of sexual health services to cisgender Black women for HIV and STI prevention using a framework that engages the participants in personal sexual health options delivered through telemedicine.
Hypothsis: This telemedicine intervention will improve HIV/STI risk perception, increase engagement with STI/HIV screening, and make sexual health and HIV prevention a shared value among cisgender Black women living in Maryland.
Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Prevention Services Program collaborates with surrounding community clinics, the needle exchange program, housing venues, and other community support partners to reduce the spread of HIV and increase access to PrEP as well as linking individuals who test positive for HIV treatment.
This program is a 5-year Ryan White Special Early Intervention Services funded project in collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department HIV / STD Prevention Program to reduce the number of new HIV infections. Our community health workers provide HIV, HCV and STI testing (via community outreach or home-based options), linkage to HIV / STI prevention and treatment services including PrEP and PEP via standard of care in clinics, mobile sites, or telehealth visits.
This project involves collaboration of the Center for Infectious Disease, Baltimore City Health Department and the Syringe Support Services (SSP) van by collaborating to provide access to vaccines, HIV, HCV and STI testing and needle exchange services in the community.