HIV and STIs
HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are enduring public health threats, particularly among communities that are traditionally underserved and experience health disparities as a result. CAI helps health care providers, community organizations, government agencies, and others strengthen all aspects of their HIV and STI services, including prevention, screening, and treatment.
CAI has helped improve HIV services since the first days of the epidemic. CAI currently leads three national efforts to advance the federal government’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE), including: the National HIV Classroom Learning Center, which provides training to a range of people who work in HIV prevention and services and is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Technical Assistance Provider Innovation Network, which provides robust support and resources to leaders in 47 jurisdictions across the U.S. to enhance their work to prevent HIV and is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and Rapid ART Dissemination Assistance Provider initiatives, which help jurisdictions deliver antiretroviral treatment quickly.
CAI has long partnered with the CDC, HRSA, UNAIDS, The Global Fund, state public health departments, and more to strengthen the workforce and community capacity to first respond to—and now end—the HIV epidemic. CAI was one the of first organizations in the world to offer training in HIV counseling in 1985, and since that time we’ve been at the forefront of efforts to use education, training, and technical assistance to build broad-based capacity to respond effectively to the virus. Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic in New York State, CAI has partnered with the AIDS Institute and provided critical capacity-building support.
CAI’s work in the HIV field has also shown us the power of actively involving the people most impacted by public health crises in working toward equitable solutions. CAI administers the Leadership Training Institute (LTI) in New York State, a pioneering peer-based approach to HIV care adherence. Under CAI’s administration for more than two decades, LTI has utilized a community-driven process that allows people living with HIV to identify priority issues and to guide and inform the trainings and support we provide. More than 3,200 people with HIV have graduated from the CAI-administered LTI, and we’re now building on this experience to provide training for peers to become full-time, certified employees at HIV service organizations.
CAI brings this philosophy into our STI work, as well—particularly through our CDC-funded Community Approaches to Reducing Sexually Transmitted Diseases initiatives, where we support community advisory boards comprising members of marginalized, under-resourced populations, to develop and implement interventions to improve sexual health within their communities. This model of authentic community engagement has shown such promise that the CDC, for the first time, funded an organization a second time to bring this approach more to scale. CAI has also worked to build and strengthen partnerships between laboratories, health departments, and state family planning programs and their provider networks to establish, maintain, and use data to continuously improve chlamydia and gonorrhea screening and testing programs, foster adoption of new test technology, track and reduce STI laboratory test turnaround time, facilitate expedited partner treatment for chlamydia, and establish school-based systems to improve STI screening coverage.