FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AIDS United receives $500K from Gilead to distribute to HIV community in Puerto Rico
Grants to support recovery after Hurricane Fiona
Contact: Warren Gill, email@example.com
WASHINGTON — AIDS United’s Relief, Recovery & Resilience Fund received $500,000 Monday from Gilead Sciences. The money will go to support organizations serving people living with and vulnerable to HIV in Puerto Rico following the destruction caused by Hurricane Fiona.
“Our thoughts and hearts are with the people of Puerto Rico,” said Jesse Milan Jr., president and CEO of AIDS United. “People have lost their homes and jobs, and in the midst of all of that, they are struggling to take care of their health. The grants we will provide thanks to the Gilead funding will be used to support a range of services, including housing, safe food and water, medicine, and access to HIV prevention and treatment services. It is our hope that we can quickly alleviate some of the suffering.”
AIDS United will release a request for proposals for emergency assistance next week.
This is not the first time Gilead has partnered with AIDS United to provide hurricane relief.
AIDS United created a Hurricane Relief Fund in 2017 following hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria with funding from Gilead and others. The fund’s name was changed in 2020 to the Relief, Recovery & Resilience Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund now focuses on providing immediate funding to organizations that are meeting the urgent needs of those living with and vulnerable to HIV in regions affected by natural disasters.
To date, the Relief, Recovery & Resilience Fund has given out more than $2 million.
Alex Kalomparis, senior vice president of public affairs at Gilead, said the pharmaceutical company is pleased to partner with AIDS United once more.
“Puerto Rico faces a long recovery process all over again,” Kalomparis said. “Organizations serving the HIV community are a vital link to care, and they need immediate support. AIDS United has long-standing relationships with community leaders in Puerto Rico, and we’re pleased to once again join them in their efforts to provide relief to the HIV community in Puerto Rico.”
In addition to the work AIDS United has done in Puerto Rico through the Relief, Recovery & Resilience Fund, the organization also supports community-led efforts for prevention, treatment and advocacy throughout the commonwealth, including current efforts addressing COVID-19.
More than 20 staff members from AIDS United are planning to travel to Puerto Rico the first week of October to participate in the U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS. Conference organizers have worked for many years to bring the conference to Puerto Rico and say it is still on track to take place. Information about the grants will be available at AIDS United’s USCHA conference booth.
The conference has taken on new significance following Hurricane Fiona.
Paul Kawata, executive director of NMAC, the organization planning the conference, said, “NMAC stands with our family in Puerto Rico. We had planned to come to San Juan in 2020 in the wake of Hurricane Maria to bring a much needed economic boost. Now, following Hurricane Fiona, the ongoing need is once again evident. We are very proud to bring this help to the people of Puerto Rico, and we are exploring additional options at the conference to support recovery.”
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 populations and communities most impacted by the U.S. epidemic As of January 2021, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $118 million to local communities, and we have leveraged more than $184 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to, syringe access, access to care, capacity-building, HIV prevention and advocacy.
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