Washington, DC, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are launching a $26.4 million initiative to fight the district's HIV/AIDS epidemic by expanding testing and treatment, The Washington Post reports. At least 3 percent of DC's population is already HIV positive.

During the new initiative's two-year funding period, NIH will work with DC clinics to update patient records and improve treatment of HIV-related illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hepatitis. Since African Americans account for 76 percent of the city's 15,000 HIV/AIDS cases, new efforts will focus heavily on them.

“As the nation's capital and national leader in the fight against HIV, the District of Columbia is excited,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “This comprehensive collaboration will generate fresh ideas, new services and technical knowledge to assist the city…in preventing new infections and improve health care services for all residents living with HIV/AIDS.”

Recently, the city's HIV/AIDS Administration came under intense scrutiny for the way it handles AIDS service organizations and funding for these groups. A Washington Post investigation found that the administration had invested more than $25 million in disreputable nonprofits. As a result, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development froze DC's money.