This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Building Capacity to Implement Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Start to Improve Care Engagement in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program – Implementation Sites. In support of the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE): A Plan for America Initiative, the purpose of this program is to fund up to 10 organizations interested in the implementation and evaluation of “rapid start” or the accelerated entry into HIV medical care and rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for low income and underserved people with HIV who are newly diagnosed, new to care, or out of care, especially racial and ethnic minorities. This program will fund organizations that have the capacity (e.g., staff, personnel, workforce trainings) and infrastructure (e.g., clinical system, procedures/workflows) to support rapid start implementation, but have not yet been able to, with the goal of replicating and expanding successful rapid start models. The funding will support sites in leveraging their existing staffing and clinical infrastructure to launch and implement rapid start interventions with the goal of improving engagement in care, including accelerating the period of time from new HIV diagnosis to entry into care, increasing faster linkage and re-engagement into care for those out of care, and achieving and sustaining viral suppression. The main objective of this initiative is to improve the timeliness and rates of access, linkage, and retention to HIV care, and viral suppression through the implementation of rapid start interventions for individuals newly diagnosed and aware of their HIV status, and people with HIV not currently engaged in HIV care. In addition to the implementation of rapid start interventions, a main goal of this initiative is to evaluate the effectiveness of rapid start models in improvements in early engagement, retention in care and sustained viral suppression in the RWHAP. Finally, this initiative will facilitate technical assistance (TA) to increase the capacity of health care organizations to implement rapid start interventions and provide high quality, comprehensive care and treatment in the RWHAP setting for people with HIV, especially for racial/ethnic minorities living in areas with the highest HIV burden. All implementation sites funded under this announcement will be required to collaborate with an evaluation and technical assistance provider (ETAP) (to be funded separately under HRSA-20-113) who will lead a multi-site evaluation to measure the effectiveness of rapid start models and impact in the RWHAP, and provide and facilitate TA through different venues including peer-to-peer learning. Award recipients under both NOFOs (HRSA-20-113 and HRSA-20-114) will need to work together to be successful. Therefore, HRSA encourages you to read the companion announcement and be familiar with all program expectations within both NOFOs. It is anticipated that through implementation and scale-up of rapid start interventions, earlier viral suppression rates will increase and could thereby make an impact to help reduce new HIV infections within the areas of highest HIV burden, especially among low income and racial/ethnic minority populations.
Eligible applicants include entities eligible for funding under Parts A - D of Title XXVI of the PHS, including public and nonprofit private entities, state and local governments; academic institutions; local health departments; nonprofit hospitals and outpatient clinics; community health centers receiving support under Section 330 of the PHS Act; faith-based and community-based organizations; and Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations with or without federal recognition.