Gender-specific programs at AIDS service organization Iris House help clients suppress the virus at rates 250 percent of the national average. The agency serves HIV-positive women and their families—along with men and underserved populations—in Harlem and South Bronx, New York, and in New Jersey.

Ingrid N. Floyd, executive director of Iris House, announced the statistics during a presentation titled “A Gender Responsive Framework for the HIV Continuum of Care (Treatment Cascade)” during the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) in San Diego. A related document, “Iris House Programs at Work,” details the organization’s successes.

The announcement comes at a time when the New York State AIDS Institute stopped funding support programs for women living with HIV. “Gender specific programs are critical, particularly when working to engage women and get them into treatment,” said Floyd in a press release. “Providers must implement gender responsive strategies and understand and remove the barriers that prevent women from achieving viral suppression.”