Two HIV-related nonprofits in the nation’s capital have joined forces: Metro TeenAIDS (MTA) has partnered with Whitman-Walker Health, a health center that specializes in LGBT and HIV care, according to a WWH press release.

MTA works to lower HIV and sexually transmitted infections among young people. It will retain its existing site in southeast Washington, but the collaboration with WWH will allow the groups to focus on the holistic health of the city’s young people, particularly those who are LGBT.

“MTA has always been about more than just HIV,” said Adam Tenner, the group’s executive director, in the press release. “Over the last several years we have been developing a broader agenda to address the health and wellness needs for young people in our community. HIV continues to be a critical health issue for teens. But the epidemic has evolved. Joining forces with WWH will enable us to do more for the young people in our community.”

“Metro DC youth, especially LGBTQ youth and young adults living with HIV, face many challenges accessing high quality, culturally competent health care,” added WWH’s executive director Don Blanchon. “This strategic collaboration brings together the best of both nonprofits to tackle these challenges. This includes expanded offerings for youth, such as medical, mental health and substance abuse services. Our new collaboration is a groundbreaking investment in the future of health care, both inside and outside of the doctor’s office.”    

According to a Washington Post article on the partnership, the nearly 35 employees at MTA are now employed with WWH, although they will continue their youth programs and outreach to schools.

DC residents between the ages of 13 and 29 accounted for nearly half of the city’s new HIV diagnoses from 2008 to 2012, according to the Post, and young black gay males making up a disproportionate number of the new cases. Despite high rates of HIV in the city, the incidence is dropping thanks to educational efforts. For example, 2008 saw 1,180 people diagnosed with HIV. In 2012, that number fell to 680.

MTA’s Tenner was recently profiled as a POZ Hero. You can read his story here.