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The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc.

Grantee Information

  1. Grantee Organization Name: The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc.
  2. Organization Address (Street, City, State, Zip): 60 Adams Ave, Hauppauge, NY 11788
  3. Organization website URL (if any):
  4. Brief Description of the Organization: The Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc., (LIAAC) is a non-profit community-based organization that delivers comprehensive services to all Long Islanders infected by HIV/AIDS, as well as those who are at high risk for contracting the disease.

Grant Project Information

  1. Title of Grant Project: Roving/mobile Integrated Services for Ex-Offenders (RISE)
  2. Amount of OMH Award: $250,000
  3. Name of Project Director: Catherine Hart

Brief Description of the Grant Project

Racial and ethnic minority (i.e. African American, Hispanic, and Native American) ex-offenders who return to Long Island endure complex challenges while transitioning back into mainstream society. In particular, the sprawling suburban landscape of Long Island and lack of accessible public transportation create barriers to receiving important health services. These populations also suffer from high rates of HIV/AIDS infection. The RISE project combated these disparities by linking minority male and female re-entrants, ages 18 and older, to timely, accessible, and comprehensive services upon release from incarceration.

The targeted Long Island regions that the RISE project served receive approximately 2,000 re-entrants from New York State and Federal correctional facilities annually. Through strategic partnerships with three organizations, the RISE project helped reintegrate ex-offenders by utilizing a mobile health service vehicle to provide HIV education, rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing, and referrals to supplementary services. LIAAC staff collaborated with local parole officers to determine participants who would benefit from the intervention. Staff used intake forms to develop a discharge plan for inmates 90 to 120 days prior to release to determine their individualized needs. These plans included an appointment with the mobile service unit. On the day of release, re-entrants were met at a predetermined location and provided with culturally and linguistically appropriate HIV prevention education, rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing, substance abuse and mental health screenings, and referrals to HIV-positive case management services if needed. For those inmates who were not referred to the program by correctional facility staff, a toll-free hotline was shared so that they could also make appointments with the mobile service. Trained mobile service vehicle staff also provided transportation assistance and support for obtaining food and shelter. It was anticipated that expanding access to HIV and Hepatitis C testing and counseling services would increase the number of re-entrants receiving health referrals and coordinated care and reduce risk behaviors among re-entrants. An internal process evaluation tracked the number of program staff trained as well as the number of re-entry participants. A key component of the evaluation was identifying participants with increased awareness and knowledge of HIV and reduced risky behavior. The primary outcome measure of intervention effectiveness was adherence to AIDS treatment post-release, measured by T-cell counts and viral loads. Baseline data collected at three, six, and 12 months were used to assess overall improvement in risk reduction behavior. Recidivism data of criminal activity was also collected at 36 months.

Key program findings reported throughout the grant period indicated:

  1. Decreased risky sexual behaviors. Re-entrants that received HIV/AIDS awareness education reported less frequently engaging in risky sexual behavior. Among all of the Care Coordination participants evaluated after receipt of the intervention (n=382), only 34 percent reported never using condoms with their main partner and only 19 percent never use condoms with those other than their main partner.
  2. Increased adherence to treatment. HIV-positive individuals participating in the RISE project maintained and improved their health as evidenced by reporting adherence to their treatment and medication regime. Lab tests revealed that 80 percent of participants had T-cell counts over 200 and 77 percent of participants had viral loads under 1000. Sixty-three percent of participants reported adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment (HAART) regime.
  3. Improved coordination of services and prevention of AIDS. Lab results of 19 HIV-positive clients showed that no cases progressed to AIDS.
  4. Decreased recidivism. A comparison study revealed that while the annual recidivism rate in Long Island was 50 percent, 93 percent of RISE participants were not re-arrested within a year of program participation.
  5. Intervention adoption at the County level. Parole officers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties adopted the RISE program model to reduce recidivism rates and bolster parole stipulations (e.g. linkage to substance abuse treatment programs).

Identified Best Practice

  • Utilizing a mobile health service vehicle to link re-entrants to comprehensive services. Inadequate access to reliable transportation can hinder receipt of important health services. The mobile health service vehicle combatted barriers to receiving health services by providing timely and accessible care at a location convenient to re-entrants. This mode of service delivery is notable because it created a continuum of care for a vulnerable population. Bringing HIV/AIDS education, testing, and referral services directly to the target population increased the likelihood of improving re-entrant knowledge of HIV/AIDS and reducing risky behavior.

National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Goals

  • Awareness: Increase awareness of the significance of health disparities, their impact on the nation, and the actions necessary to improve health outcomes for racial, ethnic, and other disparities populations.
  • Health System and Life Experience: Improve health and health care outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities and for underserved populations and communities.

Related Healthy People 2020 Objectives & Subobjectives

  • AHS-6.1 Reduce the proportion of persons who are unable to obtain or delay in obtaining medical care, dental care, or prescription medicines
  • HIV-3 Reduce the rate of HIV transmission among adolescents and adults
  • HIV-14.1 Increase the proportion of adolescents and adults who have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months
  • HIV-17.1 Increase the proportion of sexually active unmarried females aged 15 to 44 years who use condoms
  • HIV-17.2 Increase the proportion of sexually active unmarried males aged 15 to 44 years who use condoms
  • SA-8.2 Increase the proportion of persons who need alcohol and/or illicit drug treatment and received specialty treatment for abuse or dependence in the past year

Content Last Modified: 8/13/2013 11:48:00 AM
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