The Miriam Hospital has received a $2.5 million federal grant to improve addiction and mental health treatment for gay and bisexual men.
The five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, will be used in partnership with two local nonprofits to create a program to provide substance abuse treatment services for black and Latino men, a group at high-risk for contracting HIV.
About 1 in 2 black men who have sex with other men will be diagnosed with HIV, the virus the causes AIDS, sometime during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Latino gay and bisexual men, the lifetime risk for HIV is about 1 in 4. That’s compared with a lifetime risk of about 1 in 140 for white gay and bisexual men.
“This grant offers a great opportunity to expand our substance treatment services among gay and bisexual men, especially given the concerning opioid epidemic we are facing,” Dr. Philip A. Chan, medical director of The Miriam Hospital’s STD Clinic, said in a statement.
The Miriam, operated by Lifespan, will partner with Providence-based nonprofit Project Weber/RENEW and the Rhode Island Public Health Institute to expand outreach services to these underserved populations, including sex-workers.