Three Florida community-based organizations have been awarded grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deliver the most effective HIV prevention strategies.

Latinos Salud of Miami Beach, Empower “U” Community Health Center of Miami and Metropolitan Charities, of St. Petersburg are recipients of $216 million in funding announced by the CDC on July 1.

“It’s clear that we need to focus our limited resources on strategies that can have the greatest possible impact,” said Eugene McCray, M.D. director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention in a news release. “This funding targets local communities to help maximize the impact of every prevention dollar. By delivering powerful prevention tools where they’re needed most, we can have a transformative impact on the epidemic.”

A total of 90 community-based organizations (CBOs) nationwide were selected by the CDC to deliver effective HIV prevention strategies to those at greatest risk, including people of color, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender people and intravenous drug users.

In a presentation June 26 at the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, Latinos Salud Executive Director Stephen Fallon said the organization must “reach beyond its walls” to be more effective in high impact prevention.

“For Latinos Salud, a very small organization, that meant buying two vans -- one for each county (Miami-Dade and Broward) – for mobile testing,” Fallon said. “We busted the bank with that one.”

For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, this CDC funding program includes a component that allows organizations to pool their expertise and resources into “prevention partnerships.”