In November 2022, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) announced the Phase 3 winners of the Innovative Community Engagement Strategies to Reduce HIV-related Stigma and Disparities Challenge (the HIV Stigma Challenge/the Challenge). The Challenge sought innovative approaches for community engagement and mobilization to address HIV-related stigma and disparities within racial and ethnic minority communities.

In follow up, OMH and OIDP are hosting the Breaking Barriers: Innovations to Reduce HIV Stigma webinar on Thursday, July 18, 2024, at 2:00 pm ET featuring the Phase 3 winners. The Phase 3 winners will discuss their approaches, outcomes, lessons learned, sustainability plans, and how others can adopt similar strategies to better serve their communities. This webinar coincides with and supports the theme of Zero HIV Stigma Day, “Beyond Labels: Redefining HIV Narratives.”

The Phase 3 winning projects are:

  • REACH LA (California). Led by Miguel Bujanda, REACH LA engaged Black and Latino gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and non-binary individuals using a video montage incorporating music videos and social media. The goal was to encourage HIV testing, increase access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), understanding U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable), achieving viral suppression, and reducing HIV health disparities and stigma. 

  • Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation (Arizona). Led by Dr. Alyssa Robillard, this project addressed the underrepresentation of women in PrEP promotion. Alyssa and team developed a community-built, scripted, culture-centric story based on the narrative of a Black woman with HIV, using social media to disseminate the story and promote HIV testing as a gateway to PrEP for Black women.  

  • Tennessee Division of Infectious Disease (Tennessee). Led by Dr. Aima Ahonkhai, this project addressed the disproportionate impact of HIV on young Black men in Tennessee. Aima’s team developed "Cutting Out Stigma,” a multifaceted initiative that integrates HIV-focused education for Black barbers, a crucial part of racial and ethnic minority communities, along with a multimedia campaign to reduce HIV stigma in heavily burdened regions of the state. Barbers received specialized HIV training and used audiovisual displays to facilitate conversations about HIV in barbershops.

This webinar is open to all, but especially HIV community advocates, HIV and sexual infectious disease public health professionals, and other health care professionals.

Register for the webinar. Be sure to follow for more information regarding the Challenge, as well as the innovative work that the Challenge has produced.

Contact Information:

The Office of Minority Health
Toll Free: 1-833-762-4900
Fax: (240) 453-8812
Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy
Telephone: (202) 795-7697
Fax: (202) 691-2102

This blog post was published July 2, 2024, on