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A remarkable impact has been made on the HIV epidemic since the 1980s due to the development of antiretroviral medications and access to testing and treatment resources. Despite this progress, approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV infection and nearly 20 percent of those people are unaware of their HIV status. New York City is the epicenter of HIV in the U.S. and HIV is the third leading cause of death for residents aged 35-54.
Harlem Prevention Center
Launched in 2009, the Harlem Prevention Center (HPC) is a New York City-based initiative of ICAP. The mission of HPC is to strengthen the health of underserved communities in New York City by focusing on research and services for preventing HIV, reducing health disparities, and translating research findings into innovative programs. HPC conducts research to improve HIV prevention and care, and also serves as a clinical research site of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), a worldwide network funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. As the only US site for HPTN 067, HPC is leading an innovative study of pre-exposure prophylaxis,using HIV medication to prevent people from acquiring HIV infection.
Research at HPC focuses on populations most affected by HIV. Multiple social factors have been linked to the disproportionate amount of HIV infections in certain populations. A combination of poverty, stigma, and lack of access to health care services have resulted in higher rates of HIV in minority communities.
Support for Programmatic Activities
HPC works with local community boards, political groups, religious leaders, and community advocates to conduct research and develop prevention programs. Projects that HPC has been involved in include:
- Linking vulnerable populations to testing, treatment, and care
- Developing strategies to encourage adherence pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment
- Determining how to develop and implement prevention strategies for vulnerable populations
- Providing innovative methods to engage and inform at-risk populations
- Facilitating access to support and treatment