Single Source Procurement: End of AIDS - HIV Test Counselor

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

On June 29, 2014, Governor Cuomo made an important announcement, in which he detailed a three-point plan to "Bend the Curve" and move us closer to the end of the AIDS epidemic in New York State. The goal is to reduce the number of new HIV infections to just 750 (from an estimated 3,000) by 2020.

The Governor's three-point plan includes:

  1. Identifying persons with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to health care;
  2. Linking and retaining persons diagnosed with HIV in health care and maintaining them on antiretroviral therapy to maximize HIV viral load suppression so they remain healthy and to prevent further transmission; and
  3. Facilitating access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk HIV negative persons.

An important component of ending AIDS is reaching out to the highest risk communities and working with them to implement the three points which are part of the Governor's plan. One of the identified high-risk groups is Young Men of Color who have Sex with Men (YMOCSM). This population has been disproportionally affected by HIV. Two sub-populations of this group are homeless YMOCSM and sex workers. These sub-populations are extremely hard to reach and engage into services yet they are among highest risk of YMOCSM.

DOH sought to identify a contractor whose services were in line with end of AIDS and whose program could cost-effectively achieve the goals of a specific component of this initiative. Providers selected under a recent procurement of HIV prevention programs that serve MSM of Color, in addition to other known providers, were considered using the following eligibility criteria:

  • HIV prevention programs and services targeting homeless YMOCSM
  • HIV prevention programs and service targeting sex workers who are YMOCSM
  • Provide overnight services to youth to keep them off the streets and reduce harassment and negative interactions with law enforcement.
  • Medical clinical services on site
  • Mental health services on site

While many providers were considered by DOH for this funding, only one contractor satisfied all of the criteria referenced above for providing HIV services to this hard to reach, high risk subpopulation. Ali Forney is a not-for-profit whose mission closely aligns with DOH goals and has been serving these two sub-populations. The agency recently expanded its hours to be open and provide services 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Ali Forney was recently approved by NYC to offer "resting couches" to provide a place for homeless MOCSM and Transgender youth, who may be involved in sex-work, to stay for the night in an effort to keep them off the streets. Having a safe haven reduces the harassment these individuals face while on the street and possible negative interactions with law enforcement. In addition, Ali Forney has co-located on-site medical clinic and on-site mental health services that are trauma informed to meet the needs of these special populations. This amendment will fund a HIV/Hepatitis C test counselor and testing supplies to allow Ali Forney to have the greatest impact on ending the epidemic in this targeted population.

Procurement / Program Name End of AIDS - HIV Test Counselor
Contractor Name(s) Ali Forney Center
Contract Period 12/1/2014 – 11/30/2016
Contract Number(s) C027611