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DC Health HAHSTA Announces Black Women’s Health Initiative in Commemoration of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Friday, March 8, 2024
Prevention and Testing at Every Age.

WASHINGTON, DC — In recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the DC Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA) Care and Treatment Division is thrilled to announce the commencement of funding for four deserving agencies selected to improve health disparities in HIV prevention and treatment among cisgender Black women and girls in the District of Columbia.

Acknowledging the stark racial and gender disparities in disease transmission, particularly concerning HIV, HAHSTA is emphasizing the urgent need to address these inequities. In the District of Columbia, Black individuals make up 71% of the population living with HIV. Notably, Black women represent 23% of this population, second only to Black men, and account for 90% of HIV infections among women, a stark contrast to their White and Latina counterparts.

To address this disparity, HAHSTA formed an internal committee dedicated to the health needs of Black women in the District. In 2023, HAHSTA successfully supported four local organizations in delivering a range of health services aimed at promoting educational advancement, access to health and social resources, and physical and emotional wellness among Black women.

Now, in 2024, HAHSTA has allocated $200,000 to this vital effort. As of March 1, the first day of Women’s History Month, awards have been made to Mama Safe Haven, Community Concierge Care (C3), Mamatoto Village and Whitman-Walker. These organizations have been selected to establish or enhance equitable access to comprehensive sexual health resources and support services, recognizing the unique needs and challenges faced by Black women and girls in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Through this initiative, HAHSTA seeks to foster collaboration and partnership with community organizations, healthcare providers, and stakeholders to amplify impact and drive positive change. By empowering Black women and girls with access to culturally competent sexual health services and resources, we aim to reduce the disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS and improve health outcomes within our community. "We are thrilled to partner with community organizations dedicated to our ongoing efforts to prioritize the health and well-being of Black women and girls in our community," said Clover Barnes, Senior Deputy Director at HAHSTA. "This initiative underscores our commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting health equity for all."

HAHSTA is issuing a call to action for all community-based organizations to integrate or expand activities for Black women that align with the following objectives:

  • Integrating HIV and STD Services: Offering resources such as PEP, PrEP, HAART, HIV/STD testing and surveillance in health care facilities serving vulnerable or at-risk communities, including those for returning citizens and substance recovery.
  • Reproductive Justice: Promoting agency among women with HIV to control their reproductive health by providing contraception, family planning counseling, prenatal or pregnancy care and other relevant services.
  • Mental Health and Wellness: Incorporating risk reduction strategies and providing therapeutic care through behavioral and emotional health services.
  • Improving Health Literacy: Enhancing Black women’s ability to understand health-related information and make informed care decisions to prevent transmission and/or adequately treat HIV through educational programming.

For further information on integrating HIV care and treatment services tailored for Black women into your organization, please reach out to Ashley Coleman at [email protected]. To learn more about DC Health's efforts to end the HIV epidemic, visit


The District of Columbia Department of Health promotes health, wellness and equity, across the District, and protects the safety of residents, visitors and those doing business in our nation’s capital.