Minority AIDS Initiative
Despite significant advances in medical care and treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States, only 25% of the 1.1 million HIV-positive Americans have achieved “viral suppression” to improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.  Gaps in diagnosis, linkage to and retention in medical care, and access to treatment contribute to this result. Furthermore, there are significant health disparities along the continuum of care for minority populations; only 21% of African Americans and 26% of Hispanics/Latinos achieved viral suppression compared to 30% of Whites.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program to work with 20 AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) across the state to improve the quality of patient services, develop or strengthen programs to re-engage individuals lost to care, and reduce avoidable hospital readmissions for persons with HIV/AIDS.

As part of this Minority AIDS Initiative, each ASO receives training and coaching to improve the quality of outreach services. Many organizations already work hard to re-engage individuals lost to care, but most did not have access to the program models, staff training, or quality improvement systems necessary to do so effectively. Programs for effective outreach exist, and MAI training and coaching is geared to helping organizations adopt a specific model or develop their own based on the core components of existing models.   

MAI has trained and coached outreach workers (peers, medical assistants, social workers, etc.) in Motivational Interviewing techniques and skills so that they can effectively reach out to individuals lost to care. ASOs have also been trained in Perfecting Patient CareSM (PPC), the flagship quality improvement methodology developed by the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). Twice a year, JHF facilitates a statewide learning session for partner agencies. The session provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, organizational planning, and synthesis of successful strategies for re-engaging clients in care.

Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) Phase 1
July 2012-June 2014
15 Service Providers
Identified lost-to-care clients
Identified lost-to-care clients who received outreach services
Contacted clients linked to medical care
Clients linked to care who attended three medical appointments

Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) Phase 2 (Ongoing)
June 2015-July 2016
11 Champion Service Providers
Clients received outreach services (includes 413 new clients)
Clients linked to medical care
Clients linked to care who attended two or more medical appointments AND achieved suppressed viral load


Contact: Richard Smith


AIDS Free Pittsburgh

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AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP) is a public health movement to end the AIDS epidemic in Allegheny County by 2020. AIDS Free Pittsburgh is a collaborative initiative comprised of government agencies, healthcare institutions, and community-based organizations that strive to support and improve the care of people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as high-risk negative communities. AIDS Free Pittsburgh does not provide services directly, but rather works to raise awareness and build collaboration among community stakeholders. The AIDS Free Pittsburgh initiative was officially launched on December 1, 2015 following similar efforts in San Francisco, New York State, and Washington State. Allegheny County is the second county in the United States to take on this challenge. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) is one of AIDS Free Pittsburgh's partners.

Read more about AIDS Free Pittsburgh


Contact: Julia Och