South Sound HIV service organization awarded $300K to help fight monkeypox

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department on Wednesday awarded $300,000 to PCAF, formerly known as Pierce County AIDS Foundation, to provide education and raise awareness about health care services for communities impacted by the monkeypox virus.

PCAF and TPCHD will work together to provide education on how the virus is and is not likely to spread, how to mitigate impacts after exposure, and how to access treatment after testing positive.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31% of diagnosed monkeypox cases across the country are people who identify as Hispanic/Latinx; another 31% are those who identify as Black/African American, and 31% as non-Hispanic white people.

PCAF says Pierce County’s numbers match national trends even though Hispanic/Latinx and Black/African American people make up a smaller share of the population.

“For over the past three decades, TPCHD and PCAF have effectively partnered to directly address the needs of our fellow residents from a health equity lens,” said Ace Robinson, MHL, MPH, chief executive officer of PCAF, in a Thursday news release. “We commend TPCHD for being proactive in ensuring a community-centered approach to addressing MPV from the start. What we have all learned from over forty years of the HIV response is that the community knows what’s best for the community. It is up to organizations like PCAF and institutions like TPCHD to follow their directives.”