2020 in review: Puerto Rico Initiative

AIDS United’s work in Puerto Rico is designed to build the capacity of community-based organizations in Puerto Rico to most effectively combat the HIV epidemic.

The initiative comes from a legacy of funding supported most recently by the Henry van Ameringen Foundation. Historical funding and efforts to secure new funding are designed to build the capacity of community-based organizations in Puerto Rico to most effectively combat the HIV epidemic.

AIDS United’s commitment to support the needs of people living with HIV in Puerto Rico, predates the existence of AIDS United and dates to the National AIDS Fund. In the years following the merger of the National AIDS Fund and AIDS Action, which resulted in the formation of AIDS United, our commitment to people living with HIV in Puerto Rico has amplified and has continued as we support the work of nongovernmental organizations and nurture local leaders, while fortifying Puerto Rico’s footprint well beyond its shores. Since 2019, with a formal presence of AIDS United in Puerto Rico, through the hiring of Anselmo Fonseca as Program Manager.

Puerto Rico has some of the most concerning HIV statistics in the United States. In 2018, the rate of HIV diagnosis was 15.6 per 100,000 residents, compared with the national rate of 13.6 per 100,000 people, making it 10th worst in the nation. Puerto Rico also has the third highest HIV death rate of all U.S. states and territories, more than twice the national rate.

The Puerto Rico team at AIDS United, anticipates building upon the foundational work done over the past 18 months. We know that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to emerge and evolve, that additional supports for communities in Puerto Rico that are most affected by and vulnerable to HIV will continue to benefit from the investment of our times and resources ensuring that their voices are centered in leading the charge around the care and services they receive.

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