WASHINGTON – U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $ 2,440,695 to the Orange County Housing and Community Development Division to help low-income individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS access medical care and other critical support services. The grant, made possible through the Health Resources & Services Administration’s HIV Emergency Relief Program, provides direct financial assistance to areas that have been the most severely affected by HIV.
“Central Florida is making progress in its fight against the HIV epidemic, and it’s important that we continue this lifesaving work,” said Murphy. “I’m pleased to announce this federal investment in Orange County, which will help individuals, families, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Together, we can reduce infection rates and ensure those living with HIV/AIDS get access to the critical care and support services they need to improve their medical outcomes and continue living productive lives.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Orlando metro area is home to approximately 10,000 to 12,000 individuals living with HIV or AIDS. The Orlando area also ranked sixth-highest in new HIV diagnoses among U.S. cities in 2015.
Murphy announced $6.6 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding last year to the city of Orlando to expand the supply of affordable housing, reduce homelessness, revitalize communities and help individuals with HIV/AIDS.
According to HHS, the purpose of the HIV Emergency Relief program is to provide direct financial assistance to Eligible Metropolitan Areas and Transitional Grant Areas that have been the most severely affected by the HIV epidemic. It helps enhance access to high quality, community-based care for low-income individuals and families with HIV and supports strategies to reach minority populations. A comprehensive continuum of care includes the 13 core medical services and support services that assist people living with HIV/AIDS in accessing treatment. Comprehensive HIV/AIDS care beyond these core medical services may include supportive services that enable individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS to access and remain in primary medical care to improve their medical outcomes.