AIDS United & Elton John AIDS Foundation Partner to Invest $11 Million Over 3 Years in Black Queer Male & Trans Communities Across U.S.

One of the largest commitments of its kind, EJAF investment expands its role as leader in philanthropic response to U.S. HIV epidemic

Washington, DC – Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) has selected AIDS United to manage an investment of $11 million over 3 years for services prioritizing Black gay, bisexual, queer and same-gender loving (GBQ/SGL) men and people who are transgender throughout the United States.  The Fund for Resilience, Equity, and Engagement (FREE) is one of the biggest investments of its kind, and will support holistic approaches to HIV prevention and care that incorporate intersecting issues including social and economic inequities and other social determinants of health into their service models. The initiative also aims to increase the capacity of organizations that serve these communities and ensure their readiness for growth and long-term sustainability.


“Elton John AIDS Foundation is pleased to partner once more with AIDS United to support grantmaking that addresses the HIV epidemic in the United States,” said EJAF CEO Anne Aslett. “FREE is the result of an extensive participatory process during much of 2018 that included multiple EJAF convenings of panels of experts in the HIV service, provider and philanthropic fields.  This approach, included representation from those whose lived experience must inform the HIV response at the highest level, has been vital in determining the focus and priorities of FREE and we are deeply grateful to all who contributed to it. AIDS United shares our vision for this important investment and will be a valuable partner in ensuring a holistic approach to addressing the needs of Black gay, bisexual, queer, and SGL men and trans people; communities that have historically been woefully under-resourced.  We hope FREE will have long-term impact in these heavily-affected communities and will inspire additional commitments and investments from our colleagues in philanthropy.”


“Black GBQ/SGL men have been disproportionately affected by HIV,” added Jesse Milan, president and CEO of AIDS United. “And we know that people of trans experience, particularly trans women of color, share similar vulnerability to HIV, with some studies suggesting that transgender communities are the most heavily affected community in the nation, both in terms of diagnosis rate and overall health outcomes.  Our nation’s failure to effectively address HIV among these communities, is one of the greatest challenges facing the U.S. HIV response, and we must move past talking and take concrete, urgent action to turn things around, or this disease will only grow more concentrated within these communities, threatening to undermine our entire movement to end this epidemic.”


“As grant holder for the Initiative, AIDS United is in a position to leverage its broad networks and experience nationally to strengthen and amplify the efforts of the organizations that will be funded under this initiative,” added Mohamed Osman, Grants Director at EJAF. “We will never end the epidemic if we leave some communities behind. We must prioritize not just programming for heavily affected communities, but investment in programs run and created by them, and policies developed in partnership with them. It is imperative that every sector of the HIV response do more to address the needs of the most marginalized among us, uplifting their voices in the process, if we hope to truly support their long-term health.”


“AIDS United is honored by EJAF’s trust in us to manage this initiative and eager to partner with them as we endeavor to make an historic difference for these communities,” concluded Milan.

Contact:          Kyle Murphy, (202) 577-3430

Alisa Simons, EJAF (202) 864-0242


About AIDS United: 
AIDS United’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building, and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV-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.


Since 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised more than $400 million to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. As a leading worldwide organisation supporting those affected by HIV, we work alongside local, national and international partners, government officials, and advocates to promote a global response that leaves no one behind. We are supporting programs in 23 countries to advance our fundamental belief that access to information, testing and treatment can improve the lives of those living with, affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS. For more information and to get involved, please visit