Media Contact:
Alex Medina
Director of Communications
April 17, 2017

APLA Health Awarded $1.9 Million Grant to Establish New HIV Prevention Program for Young Transgender People of Color and Their Partners

The five-year award is one of only seven grants nationwide awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will focus on South Los Angeles and Long Beach

APLA Health is proud to announce the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has selected us as one of only seven organizations nationwide to receive a $1.9 million grant to establish a new HIV prevention program focusing on young transgender people of color, ages 18-29, and their partners. The five-year grant is for community-based organizations (CBOs) that work with those most impacted by HIV. APLA Health is the only CBO in California to receive the award specifically for the transgender program. Grant funding began April 1, 2017, and will run until March 31, 2022.

As a federally qualified health center serving the LGBT community, APLA Health is uniquely positioned to create and implement the new HIV prevention program, titled Trans Connections. Aligned with the “National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” the CDC’s “High-Impact HIV Prevention” approach, and the “L.A. Comprehensive HIV Plan,” Trans Connections focuses on South Los Angeles and Long Beach and works to reduce new HIV infections and increase access to medical care among young transgender people of color and their partners.

“We’re honored to be one of only seven organizations in the country selected for this critically needed funding,” Terry L. Smith, director of HIV prevention services at APLA Health, says. “In addition to high rates of HIV, young transgender people of color face many barriers to accessing quality medical care from knowledgeable providers and often deal with stigma and discrimination in other aspects of their daily lives. Trans Connections is designed to address their needs in a holistic way, not simply offering services in one area to leave needs in another.”

APLA Health will provide medical, social, and support services from our Gleicher/Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills. In Long Beach, we will provide medical care from our Long Beach Health Center and are partnering with The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, which will spearhead access to legal and social support services, which are critical components of improving overall health equity.

“This grant is a blessing for our community,” The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach’s Executive Director Porter Gilberg says. “We are thrilled to partner with APLA Health to collectively serve one of the most under-resourced communities in Long Beach.”

The funding for APLA Health’s Trans Connections program was awarded through the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention under its PS17-1704 “Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Projects for Young Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men and Young Transgender Persons of Color” program. According to a CDC press release announcing the awards, “The CBOs funded through this program have demonstrated experience reaching YMSM and [young transgender] persons of color and populations that are heavily affected by HIV.”

The CDC’s release goes on to say: “Each funded CBO will work to reduce new HIV infections, increase access to care, and promote health equity by:

• Increasing HIV testing and linking those who test positive to HIV medical care
• Increasing referrals to partner services
• Providing prevention and essential support services for people living with HIV and those at high risk of becoming infected

Recent scientific advances have given us powerful new strategies to stop HIV, including improved testing techniques, early treatment with antiretroviral medications, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). This new funding program will help accelerate efforts to deliver these advances to the people who need them most.”

A full list of funded CBOs is available at


APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 14 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at