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(RFA 21-10043) 

Strategic Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy

Funding for the Strategic Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) demonstration project was established in Senate Bill 870 and will support the development of up to four, two-year public health demonstration projects. Selected applicants will be awarded in a competitive award process to provide innovative, evidence-based approaches to rapid linkage to, and retention in, quality health care for people living with HIV (PLWH). Emphasis will be placed on telehealth-based programs that provide stigma-free, trauma informed, culturally/linguistically competent and innovative demonstration projects to administer and deliver strategic rapid ART services to PLWH and substantially reduce the time to viral suppression, providing clinical benefits to clients and reducing risk of HIV transmission. Projects must be “strategic” in that they intentionally prioritize individuals from the most underserved populations who are most disproportionately affected by HIV, and must do so by implementing a combination of in-person and telehealth services. As indicated by HIV surveillance data, the populations most vulnerable to HIV are Black/African American (AA) and Latinx populations and their intersecting identities which may include gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender MSM, transgender women, cisgender women, and/or people who inject drugs. California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS (CDPH/OA) will consider other populations for which local and/or national data indicates a disproportionate impact by HIV (e.g. Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) or American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations as data indicates that they are disproportionately affected by HIV). These populations are the primary focus of this request for applications (RFA).

CDPH/OA seeks applications for innovative demonstration projects to implement strategic rapid ART services for Black/AA and Latinx PLWH who are deemed eligible for rapid ART. OA defines “innovative demonstration projects” as newly developed, novel, original or new to your agency and/or community. Applicants are encouraged to replicate existing, evidenced-based programs and modify them for integration into their agency.

Existing rapid ART programs may apply for this funding provided their proposal demonstrates that funds will be used to develop a new component, focus on a currently unserved priority population (e.g. trans women, recently incarcerated or recently released, homeless, etc.), and/or serve a new geographic location in their community where there are gaps in service for linkage to care for PLWH.

OA has determined that local health jurisdictions (LHJs) representing more than 98 percent of all Californians living with HIV and Community Based Organizations within those jurisdictions that meet the RFA criteria, are defined as eligible applicants. These LHJs are:

​San Bernardino
​Santa Barbara
​Contra Costa
​San Diego
​Santa Clara
​San Francisco
​Santa Cruz
​City of Long Beach
​San Joaquin

​Los Angeles
​San Mateo

OA looks forward to receiving applications from all eligible entities to support implementation of strategic rapid ART services to improve health outcomes, reduce HIV-related health disparities, reduce new HIV infections, and achieve maximal results in addressing the HIV epidemic in California.

The Strategic Rapid ART RFA can be accessed here on the CDPH Office of AIDS Request for Application web page

Please note the following important dates:

  • Strategic Rapid ART Community Zoom Webinar will be held on February 12, 2021 from 1:00 P.M to 2:30 P.M. PDT. Register in advance for this meeting: GurjspHtXot9VcoFvA6TT-HX3kze8z. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.​
  • Questions about the Strategic Rapid ART RFA must be submitted in writing by email to by February 12, 2021 by 5:00 P.M. PDT.
  • Questions and responses will be posted on this webpage by February16, 2021 by 5:00 P.M. PDT.
  • Mandatory electronic Letter of Intent (LOI) is due on February 17, 2021 by 12:00 Noon PDT. RFA Attachments will be sent to those who submit LOI.
  • Electronic application submission is due on March 15, 2021 by 5:00 P.M. PDT.
  • Please see the RFA for LOI and application submission information.
If you have any questions about the information in this letter, please send an e-mail to
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