Ryan White and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Ryan White and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7, 2017
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Ryan White Care Makes a Difference

The care that Ryan White provides makes a difference. Overall, Ryan White clients have higher rates of retention in care, and better viral suppression, compared with national data. According to the 2015 RSR Report, the same holds, in general, for Ryan White clients who are African American:

  • The percentage of black/African American men who were retained in care (78.6%) was relatively consistent with the national Ryan White average (80.6%), while the percentage who achieved viral suppression was slightly lower (78.9%) than the average (83.4%).
  • The percentages of black/African American women who were retained in care (82.2%) and virally suppressed (80.6%) were relatively consistent with the national Ryan White averages (80.6% and 83.4%, respectively).

The Ryan White infrastructure that makes these results possible is comprised of clinical protocols, care engagement models, and other activities that guide the delivery of HIV/AIDS care to populations served by the Ryan White program. The path to further progress can be found in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and its focus on reducing disparities--especially the HIV care continuum's goal to maximize engagement in care and viral suppression.

African American Ryan White Initiatives

In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7 and this year's theme "I Am My Brother's and Sister's Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS," below is a recap of Ryan White technical assistance, training, and other activities--from models of care to special initiatives.

Engaging Black MSM in Care

HRSA has supported numerous initiatives over the decades to enhance care delivery for hard-hit populations. Among the latest is the Center for Engaging Black MSM Across the Care Continuum (CEBACC). Two off-shoots of CEBAAC include the following:

 His Health: Engaging Black MSM in HIV Care with a compendium of care models, training modules, and resources for enhanced linkage, retention, and engagement strategies targeting Black MSM. The site targets providers and offers continuing medical education (CME) and continuing nursing unit (CNU) credits for clinicians to increase their capacity to accelerate healthcare service delivery to Black MSM.

 Well Versed is an conversation-starting resource for healthcare providers & Black MSM. This consumer-oriented website provides information about how to get the most out of health care by being active and informed.


 In It Together, a National Health Literacy Project for Black MSM, is another recent HRSA-supported project designed to increase health professionals’ understanding and use of health literacy to improve engagement and retention in HIV care and treatment.


Improving Care for African Americans

HRSA has also funded several initiatives targeting African Americans and other minority populations. Among them is health coverage enrollment assistance for underserved populations, particularly African Americans. In late 2016, HRSA funded a series of new TA projects targeting African Americans and other populations hit hardest by HIV. These projects focus on enhanced care engagement and leadership training for people of color. 

See more cultural competency resources targeting men who have sex with men.

Women of Color Implementation GuideThe Ryan White SPNS program is part of the success with Ryan White client outcomes in its decades-long investigation of innovative models of HIV/AIDS care, including those focused on minority and under-served populations. One recent example is the Enhancing Access for Women of Color Initiative, 2009-2014.

Some of the findings from this project have been compiled in the implementation guide, Enhancing Access to HIV Care for Women of Color, developed under the IHIP: Integrating HIV Innovative Practices, a HRSA initiative that is turning SPNS innovation into practice with manuals, curricula, webinars, and tools.

Multiple SPNS projects target innovations for African Americans living with HIV/AIDS, including transgender women of color, young MSM of color, substance users (under the buprenorphine initiative), and persons in correctional settings or those soon to be released to the community. The latest SPNS initiative, started in 2015, will look across the board at Dissemination of Evidence-Informed Interventions, linkage and retention initiatives being identified by prior SPNS and Secretary's Minority Health Initiative fund projects.

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