NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On July 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded the New Brunswick-based Hyacinth AIDS Foundation $3.5 million over the next five years in order to fund a future testing and prevention initiative.

The grant is connected with the CDC’s $216 million national push to give more effective HIV treatment resources to the community-based organizations in the greatest need.

Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, New Jersey’s oldest and largest AIDS support organization, is working in collaboration with Iris House, an HIV center for women located in East Harlem, to target African-American men and women of the Newark and Plainfield areas of New Jersey for more effective testing for and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Executive Director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien said, “The only way to end AIDS is to find people who are living with HIV and help them access medical treatment. With this funding, we will be able to test an additional 2,400 people in the greater Newark and Plainfield areas each year, and provide critical prevention education to those most at risk of infection.”

The CDC reports that 1 in 8 Americans infected with HIV are unaware that they are carrying the disease, and their high risk of transmitting the virus.

The foundation’s mission continues to be to educate those with the disease, to help them cope, and to remain a public advocate for HIV/AIDS positive individuals as they battle financial setbacks and discrimination, and the virus itself.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to invest in delivering the cutting edge of HIV prevention to those who need it most,” Ahearn-O’Brien said.

Hyacinth AIDS Foundation has seven offices in areas throughout New Jersey that serve over 15,000 HIV/AIDS carriers each year with direct care and treatment and prevention education.