In September 2015, the California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc. (CRIHB) was awarded a five-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration to fund the American Indian Substance Abuse and HIV Capacity Building Initiative (HIV-CBI). The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce transmission of new HIV and viral hepatitis infections, and reduce the risk of developing substance abuse issues and sexual risk factors among tribal youth ages 13-24.

The HIV-CBI  grant was named Project PaTHwAY (Preventing & Treating HIV with American Indian Youth), and targets all American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) female, male, and transgender individuals between the ages of 13 and 24 that seek services at the following CRIHB member tribal health programs: Chapa De Indian Health Program, Feather River Tribal Health, Greenville Rancheria Tribal Health Program, Karuk Community Health Clinic, Mathiesen Memorial Health Clinic, Pit River Health Services, Redding Rancheria Tribal Health Center, Sonoma County Indian Health Project, Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Tule River Indian Health Center, United Indian Health Services, and Warner Mountain Indian Health Program.

Project PaTHwAY combines education and awareness, social marketing, training and technical assistance, as well as provision of testing kits to tribal health programs, to help prevent and treat HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse. Partnerships with tribal health program staff and tribal community members, will also be developed to improve promotion of HIV and viral hepatitis services, in a manner that is consistent with cultural traditions and is based on data gathered as part of a needs assessment process. Data collected during the needs assessment, both from community members and online surveillance systems, was incorporated into a strategic plan which includes the following primary components of Project PaTHwAY:

  • Develop culturally sensitive educational materials around HIV and viral hepatitis.
  • Incorporate HIV information into existing substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention efforts.
  • Increase linkages to existing HIV prevention and treatment services.
  • Develop a social marketing campaign and awareness program aimed at AIAN in California ages 13-24.
  • Implement Community PROMISE (preventing and treating HIV with American Indian Youth) to use role model stories for educating youth and young adults about reducing their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV.
  • Provide mini-grants to youth groups for completing educational projects around HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse.
  • Increase HIV/AIDS data collection at CRIHB member tribal health programs.

High level objectives:

Objective 1: By April 30, 2016, Project PaTHwAY will identify at-risk populations ages 13-24 who are vulnerable to substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and VH problems and disparities, via a needs assessment in AIAN target areas.

Objective 2: By April 30, 2016, Project PaTHwAY will develop a data driven comprehensive strategic plan specific to each target community.

Objective 3: By August 31, 2020, Project PaTHwAY will build and improve the technical capacity of participating tribal health programs to implement community driven, culturally appropriate prevention programs for HIV, VH, and substance abuse.

Objective 4: By August 31, 2020, Project PaTHwAY will implement Evidenced-Based Prevention Intervention Strategies to address HIV, VH, and substance abuse among AIAN youth and young adults.

Objective 5: By August 31, 2020, staff will assess the performance of Project PaTHwAY.

PaTHwAY-specific training/technical assistance:

  • Integration of HIV Prevention Services
    • This training will be provided to health care providers and AIAN-serving agencies in order offer strategies for integrating counseling, testing, outreach, education, support, and referrals for HIV services.
  • HIV and Substance Abuse
    • This training will provide technical assistance and continuing education on the integration of HIV prevention programs with AIAN substance abuse treatment programs as well as offer culturally appropriate materials.
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Adriana Kimbriel
CRIHB HIV Project Coordinator
Tel: 916-929-9761 ext. 1519