The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a total of $42 million in grants to community-based organizations on Tuesday, including more than $1.3 million to HIV/AIDS service organizations in Charlotte and Columbia.

The grants, with organizations receiving an average of $323,000 per year for five years, will be used to implement HIV prevention efforts among those populations at greatest risk.

“This funding is a critical part of CDC’s national HIV prevention efforts and is in line with the priorities identified in the recently released National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” Jonathan Mermin, MD, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said in a release. “Governments on the federal and state levels cannot end this epidemic alone, and these resources will help to give many communities the tools they need to fight HIV locally.”

The CDC said partnerships with community organizations are important, because local group have the “cultural knowledge and local perspective to reach people who might not otherwise access HIV testing or other prevention services.”

Four Carolinas organizations received funding in this round of grants. Charlotte’s Carolinas CARE Partnership (formerly the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium) received $240,050 and Quality Home Care Services was granted $364,830. Columbia’s Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services of South Carolina received $389,580 and the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council received $337,248.

In an interview for an article appearing in qnotes‘ forthcoming Aug. 7 print edition, Carolinas CARE executive director Terry Ellington and programs director Shannon Warren said their newly-approved CDC grant would be used to increase HIV prevention efforts, awareness and testing among men of color of all ages and sexual orientations. The CDC already funds Carolinas CARE’s D-UP! initiative, which targets young men of color who have sex with men.

African-Americans, Latinos, gay and bisexual men and injection drug users are most disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Nearly half of the new grant funds (49%) will be used to focus primarily on men who have sex with men. Thirty-eight percent will focus on heterosexual men and women. Fifty-eight percent of grant recipients will focus on outreach to African-Americans, 23 percent to Latinos and 11 percent to whites.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.