Good news — the federal government is promising to provide more funding for Native Americans who are HIV positive.
The Indian Health Service will provide five grants, each up to $200,000, in an effort to reduce the transmission within Native American communities. The IHS is expected to give out a total of $1 million, according to ABC News. While the majority of the money will come from the IHS, the funding will also partially come from the Center for Disease Control.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Rear Adm. Dr. Sarah Linde, the acting chief medical officer of the IHS, said that “as many as 26 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Native people living with HIV infection do not know it.”
A member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, Harlan Pruden, told ABC News that the money could also potentially go to organizations for Two-Spirited individuals — that is, Native Americans who identify as LGBTQ.
“It opens up the possibility for some of the unfunded Two-Spirit organizations that don’t have a lot of capacity to enter into these cooperative agreements. … They have a lot of community expertise and community engagement — they just don’t have any funding.”