AIDS United Awards $300,000 to Support Leadership Development for People Living with HIV

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2018

Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 876-2820

AIDS United Awards $300,000 to Support Leadership Development for People Living with HIV

People Organizing Positively Puts People Living with HIV First

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 6, 2018 – AIDS United has awarded grants totaling $300,000 to six community-based organizations to help end HIV stigma and discrimination while building leadership among people living with HIV. AIDS United’s newly-renamed People Organizing Positively (POP) initiative, with generous support from Gilead Sciences, taps a new generation of leaders living with HIV to help end the HIV epidemic in the U.S.

Formerly called Positive Organizing Project, the initiative has been rebranded to People Organizing Positively. This change embodies person-first language, an empowering component of meaningful involvement of people living with HIV. The leadership of people living with this disease continues to be essential to ensuring that our national response is informed by and relevant to the needs of those it affects. The new name celebrates the view that people living with HIV should remain at the head of this movement and the fact that many continue to do so in the face of numerous challenges.

“Our words have the power to uplift and empower or they can be used to marginalize, victimize, and stigmatize. We must continue to evolve our language, but also embody our commitment to strengthening the voices and roles of people living with HIV and support them as they provide the leadership essential to our national response to this epidemic,” said AIDS United President & CEO Jesse Milan, Jr. “The rebranding of POP to puts people living with HIV first, which is exactly what our new grantees are doing every day.”

From supporting transgender advocates living with HIV to leading multiple campaigns mobilizing community members to address HIV criminalization, the six new grantees are working to harness the power and resiliency that already exists in their communities to make a clear difference in the lives of people living with HIV everywhere.

“The efforts of the POP grantees are critical to reducing stigma around HIV, informing the national response and helping people living with HIV,” said Gregg H. Alton, Chief Patient Officer at Gilead Sciences. “Through our partnership with AIDS United, we are proud to be able to support this next generation of leaders.”

The new awards are the latest of five, one-year grant cycles made to organizations across the U.S. to develop leadership and support grassroots organizing among people living with HIV. To date, the initiative, with technical assistance support from the U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus, has awarded 45 grants to organizations that collectively reached more than 204,000 people living with HIV. By developing leaders across the country, the POP initiative aims to impact our movement well after the initial grant period is over.

“As a person living with HIV, it is terribly important to me that AIDS United prioritizes leadership development and meaningful involvement of people directly impacted by it,” said Milan. “The work of the POP grantees and the advocacy of the hundreds of leaders who have come through previous POP cohorts have brought us closer than ever to eliminating HIV stigma and ultimately, to ending this epidemic.”


About AIDS United: AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building, formative research and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV/AIDS care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV/AIDS-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities, and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy.