The funds will allow agency to continue HIV testing in Texas’ hardest hit community
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Abounding Prosperity has received a $1.7 million grant to serve the health needs of black gay and bisexual men and transwomen through its testing and screening clinic and prevention services. The grant targets people ages 14 to 29.
Special Projects and Programs Manager P.J. Moton said the grant would help them link people who test positive to care within 30 days of their diagnoses. Abounding Prosperity tests both at its facility on MLK Jr. Boulevard and through its mobile testing van.
“The mobil van goes into the community six times a week,” Moton said, “going where gay black men socialize or gather.”
In addition, the grant has allowed AP, Inc. to bring on staff a nurse practitioner, and it lays the groundwork for the organization to build HOPE — Helping Our People Excel — its own health facility that will test for HIV, STDs and Hep C, as well as offer PrEP treatment, Moton said.
The grant targets young people, ages 14 to 29, who make up a large portion of newly-diagnosed HIV cases. They’re also screened for other sexually transmitted diseases.
It also gives the organization the ability to continue other programs, such as behavior change interventions, including 3MV — Many Men, Many Voices — a two-day educational program with curriculum designed specifically for black men.
Abounding Prosperity’s referral program works with AHF, Prism Health and for those clients with insurance who prefer seeing a private doctor, Dr. Chrisette Dharma.
AP, Inc. is the only organization in Dallas awarded a portion of this grant from the Centers for Disease Control, Moton said. Organizations in Houston and San Antonio are among the 30 HIV agencies nationally to receive these funds.
Dallas County ranks second after Harris County for number of new HIV infections and first in rate of infection. The rate of new diagnosed cases of HIV are 10 times higher among black gay and bisexual men and transwomen than among any other racial or ethnic group.
Abounding Prosperity is one of the few HIV organizations in Texas founded in the black community and run by members of the community.
Founder and CEO Kirk Myers said, “These resources are going to directly impact the reach, longevity, and infrastructure of the organization which means we are going to be able to provide even more services across the board. It’s our aim to touch even more lives thereby promising prosperity for the community as a whole.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 14, 2017.