health care,
education and
social services

health care,
education  and
social services

A Turning Point in District Women’s Health: Combatting HIV/AIDS

Mary’s Center is the proud recipient of a $125,000 award from the Washington AIDS Partnership, the largest private funder of HIV/AIDS prevention, education and advocacy services in the District. The grant, called “DC PrEP for Women Initiative”, aims at increasing knowledge and the use of the drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women of color in Washington, DC. Funding will boost our efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, enabling Mary’s Center to continue on with our tradition of making a positive impact through the delivery of critical medical and social services to those most vulnerable in the community.

PrEP is a once-daily pill regimen that allows individuals at high risk for HIV infection to take the medication regularly to lower their chances of getting infected. To implement the drug into our suite of services that are designed for women 18 and older, Mary’s Center will bring on board a full-time PrEP Coordinator Nurse who will be responsible for training clinical, support and administrative teams on the appropriate use of the medication and overseeing the care coordination for patients prescribed the drug. After a series of trainings to build capacity, PrEP education, counseling and dialogue will become part of conversations with Mary’s Center’s adult female participants who are either currently receiving or seeking reproductive health, women’s wellness visits and healthy sexuality services. The PrEP Coordinator Nurse will also oversee the tracking of PrEP prescriptions and will collaborate with providers to encourage active engagement of participants taking the drug.

“From inception, an important aspect of our mission was to improve the well-being of women, who, in most cases are the backbones of their families and their communities...Naturally, in accordance with community needs our focus expanded over the years to include tackling other important health challenges such as HIV/AIDS. But as we approach our 30th anniversary of providing quality care to our neighbors, in many ways this award brings us full circle,” says Maria Gomez, Mary’s Center’s President and CEO.  

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