Single Source Procurement: End of AIDS - Reaching the Transgender Community

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 the transgender communities. The End of AIDS - Transgender Program seeks to fund only 3 contractors, to reach out to these communities, specifically to transwomen who are at higher risk for HIV.

The intersections of sexual identity, gender identity and gender expression with social determinants of health enhances and creates factors leading to health disparities that uniquely impact Transgender individuals' access to and interaction with the health care systems; inclusive of HIV prevention, treatment and care. The community based organizations selected engage and have access to the nuanced communities that embody the Transgender spectrum. These organizations have an established history of trust and mutual respect within those communities, as well as, provide services in a culturally competent and relevant manner that is welcoming, affirming, and resonates with those they serve. This indigenous relationship affords the organization the ability to implement HIV prevention strategies/interventions with those at risk for HIV who are not reached via traditional HIV prevention efforts nor High Impact Prevention.

By addressing the hierarchy of needs and reducing the barriers to care for Transgender individuals the proposed programs and services offer to operationalize action steps included in the NYSDOH AI Priorities 2014-2015. More specifically, the proposed program will: expand efforts to facilitate linkage and retention in HIV care to those who have not entered care or are no longer retained in care; institute quality of care methods to identify and remove barriers to access and retention in care and develop comprehensive provider education that assures timely and appropriate screening and treatment for STD/HIV in multiple health care settings.

DOH recently completed a procurement for Health and Human Services for Lesbian. Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Individuals which provides similar services using the same intervention strategies. Because the interventions/services under this new program were the same as the procurement and because transgender was a targeted population, the providers selected under that procurement were then evaluated for funding under this new End of AIDS - Transgender Initiative.

To provide transgender services to the widest area of coverage for New York State, DOH determined it was necessary to fund one program in each of the following three regions: Western NY, Capital Area, and New York City. These three regions allow for the largest geographic coverage of the services to be offered under this program.

Within each of the regions, all LGBT providers that were serving transgender individuals at 10% of more of their caseload were considered for award. The final selection of 3 providers was based on serving the highest number of transgender individuals in their regions. This demonstrated the agency's ability to engage the population and understand their issues - which are very complex - and provide successful interventions.

Procurement / Program Name End of AIDS - Reaching the Transgender Community
Contractor Name(s) Multiple – Please see attached.
Contract Period 10/1/2014 – 9/30/2018
Contract Number(s) C028612, C028643, C028648