WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) announced a $521,233 grant today for the Southwest Community Health Center (SCHC) to provide early intervention services for people recently diagnosed with HIV. The SCHC will use the funding to provide approximately 250 clients with comprehensive medical, dental, substance abuse, and mental health services.

“HIV/AIDS remains one of the deadliest and most expensive pandemics in our lifetimes, and too often those who are diagnosed with the disease have nowhere to turn,” Himes said. “The Southwest Community Health Center provides critical health care services for patients who could not otherwise afford them, and I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that people diagnosed with HIV get the treatment they need.”

The funding was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. This program provides grants to service providers to support outpatient HIV early intervention services and ambulatory care in order to expand access to high quality HIV primary health care services for people recently diagnosed with HIV.

“Even as federal funding has become more competitive, we are pleased that the Southwest Community Health Center will have the resources necessary to continue to provide comprehensive services to HIV patients and their families,” said Kathy Yacavone, President and CEO of SCHC. “This funding is absolutely essential to make sure individuals with HIV in the Bridgeport community get the treatment they need to stay healthy for as long as possible.”

As of 2010, roughly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS. The average lifetime cost of HIV treatment is estimated to be $367,134 per person.