Bristol-Myers Squibb Makes $1 Million Investment, Joining Johnson & Johnson to Support Sector Transformation for HIV/AIDS Service Organizations

Strengthening the health care system to better serve people living with HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bristol-Myers Squibb commits $1 million to help AIDS service organizations navigate the new realities of health reform. The   investment builds on founding support from Johnson & Johnson that launched the Sector Transformation Initiative at AIDS United in 2012. The Initiative helps HIV/AIDS service organizations integrate with the broader health care system to meet the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) using strategic grants, educational opportunities, and technical assistance.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has a strong history of partnership with AIDS United in meeting the evolving needs of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States. In 2010, Bristol-Myers Squibb began a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative with AIDS United to build capacity of local organizations to link and retain people living with HIV to care, called Positive Charge.

“Just as the work under Positive Charge led the field in improving linkage to care, we believe Sector Transformation will be key in ensuring that the critical programming offered by AIDS service organizations is well sustained and able to leverage the full potential of health reform for people living with HIV,” stated Gabriel Borsotto, Vice President Virology & Immunoscience US Medical at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an unprecedented opportunity to improve access to care and treatment outcomes for people living with HIV; however many organizations are struggling to prepare for and accommodate changes required by the law. Adapting to this new landscape is a particular undertaking for organizations providing HIV/AIDS services, as these organizations must make unprecedented changes to their service delivery and business models. These organizations need help to identify their role and make appropriate changes to better serve people living with HIV under the ACA.

“At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that people across the globe with HIV/AIDS should have access to high quality health care and the associated supportive services,” said Sharon D’Agostino, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson. “AIDS United is providing national leadership to ensure sustainability of services on the ground for people living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS. That’s why we’re proud to be their inaugural funding partner to help launch this sector transformation initiative, and are pleased to welcome other private sector partners to this important work.”

“At a time when we know early and sustained treatment not only extends the lives of folks living with HIV to almost that of the uninfected, but can also reduce new infections by more than 96%, it’s absurd that our country has less than 40% of the HIV-positive population on treatment,” said Michael Kaplan, CEO of AIDS United. “We know we can change this, but it will require traditional HIV/AIDS services supported by the Ryan White Program working synergistically with broader health systems afforded under the ACA. We believe the support of BMS and J&J for Sector Transformation is critical in ensuring a health system that is responsive to the needs of people living with HIV.”

Since 2012, the AIDS United Sector Transformation Initiative has benefited more than 190 organizations in 19 communities by educating them about changes in the health care market landscape, catalyzing local and national funding for sector transformation, and investing in organizations that were ready to restructure to ensure sustainability of services in their communities. This initiative has prioritized those serving the most vulnerable populations and targeted investments in highly impacted geographic areas.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investment adds to and amplifies that of Johnson & Johnson, making this a true cross-industry and major private sector commitment to people living with HIV/AIDS and the organizations that serve them.

# # #
About AIDS United
Created by a merger between the National AIDS Fund and AIDS Action in late 2010, AIDS United’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States, 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 $85.8 million to local communities, and have leveraged more than $110 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to, HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy.