FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE AWARDED MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT TO PROVIDE HIV-RELATED SERVICES
The LGBTQIA+ Youth Organization Seeks to Develop Innovative Approaches in the Wake of COVID
NEW YORK, February 15, 2022 – LGBTQIA+ youth organization, Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) has been awarded a multi-year contract through Public Health Solutions (PHS) on behalf of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. HMI will provide programs and services as a funded provider in the PlaySure Network (PSN) 2.0 initiative, described by PHS as the, “Provision of a Comprehensive Health Package of HIV-Related Services in a Non-Health Care Setting Using an Equity-Focused One-Stop Shop and Holistic Client-Centered Model.” (Funding sources include NYC tax levy dollars, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Health Resources and Services Administration.) The start date for the funded initiative is March 1, 2022 with an estimated funding amount of $585,500 per year, through August 31, 2025.
While New York City continues to make important progress toward ending the HIV epidemic, recent surveillance data (2019) documents significant and persistent inequities experienced by the city’s marginalized communities.
- Of all cisgender and transgender women newly diagnosed with HIV, 91% were Black and/or Latina/Hispanic;
- Of all cisgender and transgender men newly diagnosed, 81% were Black and/or Latino/Hispanic;
- Of all cisgender men newly diagnosed with HIV, 69% were men who have sex with men (MSN); among MSN, 80% were among Black and/or Latino/Hispanic; and
- Lastly, of all New Yorkers newly diagnosed with HIV, 40% were youth and youth adults ages 13-29 (with the majority – 92% – among ages 20-29) and 50% lived in high-poverty neighborhoods.
Advancing equity is a key strategic priority of the NYC Health Department’s HIV response, and a goal of this PSN 2.0 funding, which has been shaped by the department’s Race to Justice initiative. With the PlaySure Network 2.0 funding, the health department aims to address stigma and discrimination along with the social and structural determinants of health. The programs funded by PSN 2.0 will move beyond a narrowly targeted risk-based model and adopt a service delivery model that will implement universal strategies that support normalizing sexual health conversations, and engage all those served in conversations about HIV testing, PrEP and PEP.
Using a one-stop-shop model, PSN 2.0 programs will be focused on client choice, where quality outcomes are based on the clients’ identified needs and the provision of and access to services that support these needs. They will also approach sexual health within the context of sexual pleasure and well-being, and move away from the use of risk-based screenings and assessments.
The key component of the one-stop-shop model will be Navigators—trained staff who provide HMI’s youth and young adult members with 1:1 support to assess youth wellness needs, normalize and routinize HIV testing, and link youth to programs and services, including mental health services, job readiness training and employment assistance, and other support. In the PlaySure Network initiative, Navigators and providers will discuss sexual health more broadly, supporting an open, honest and positive client-provider relationship. Ultimately, programs will:
- Increase access to a comprehensive health package of HIV prevention services using an equity-focused one-stop shop and holistic client-centered model for priority populations.
- Increase provision of client-centered, affirming, non-stigmatizing, and anti-discriminatory services.
- Decrease inequities in access to and utilization of HIV prevention services, and related health outcomes, experienced by priority populations.
HMI serves multiple priority populations, including youth and young adults, people who identify as BIPOC, people who identify as LGBQ, people of trans experience, and people who identify as gender nonconforming, gender nonbinary or genderqueer.
“Marginalized communities continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, even as significant strides have been made toward ending the epidemic. The LGBTQIA+ young people HMI serves, primarily BIPOC, are most vulnerable, which is why providing HIV-related resources remains a priority. It is extremely critical for holistic and equity-focused approaches in HIV prevention and treatment be adopted and implemented,” remarked HMI Chief Executive Officer, Joe Pressley. “With new challenges created by the COVID pandemic, the PlaySure Network initiative is prompting providers to reexamine their resources and delivery models. I am excited about furthering our commitment to this important work. HMI looks at this as an opportunity to develop creative and innovative ways to make services more comprehensive and accessible in an environment that has become increasingly reliant on virtual platforms and digital technologies in the age of COVID.”
ABOUT HETRICK-MARTIN INSTITUTE
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is proud to be the nation’s oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth between the ages of 13 and 24 to reach their full potential. Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, the organization fosters healthy youth development. HMI’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models. HMI serves a diverse community, the vast majority of whom identify as Black or people of color. The youth organization is dedicated to building its approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels, throughout its operations and functions.
Chief Development Officer