For Immediate Release: January 31, 2019
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 876-2820, firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern HIV Impact Fund Awards Second Round of Funding, Totaling Nearly $2.9 million
Announces Southern Action Grant availability; investment aims to expand proportion of HIV philanthropy region receives
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Southern HIV Impact Fund (the Fund) announced its second round of awards. Totaling nearly $2.9 million, round two funds will support 43 organizations working to end HIV’s persistent and worsening impact on the U.S. South, which accounts for more than half of all new HIV diagnoses and 40 percent of all Americans living with AIDS. The investment in the region will focus on serving the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in states that rarely receive funding proportional to their burden of the epidemic, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Convened by Funders Concerned About AIDS in 2017 to coordinate and expand philanthropic efforts in the U.S. South, the Fund is managed by AIDS United and receives support from Gilead Sciences, Ford Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson, Levi Strauss Foundation, and a generous anonymous donor. To date, the Fund has granted over $5.8 million, including $300,000 in rapid-response grants to address urgent or rapidly emerging need. With sustainability being a major focus of the program, 83 percent of grantees this round are receiving their second year of funding. Additionally, the Fund has trained 10 emerging Southern leaders, to better equip them to respond to the regional challenges posed by HIV and ensure the sustainability of their organizations and the movement.
“Just over a quarter of HIV-related philanthropy in the U.S. is directed to its Southern region, a figure that is woefully inadequate,” noted John Barnes, FCAA’s Executive Director. “By bringing together organizations with a strong commitment to supporting the region, and working to enlist new partners, we hope to instigate change and attract funding more reflective of the South’s burden of HIV. What’s more, the collaborative has committed to an intersectional approach to its work, reaching more deeply into LGBTQ communities of color and other marginalized populations, to offer partnership and capacity building support to ensure comprehensive and high-quality services for the most heavily affected Southerners.” This Black History Month and in the run up to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Fund will highlight its partners and grantees in the region working to address the persistent and disparate impact of HIV on Black communities, particularly in the South, with a social marketing campaign, Honoring #BlackHistory Means Investing in #BlackHealth.
“While HIV is not an issue exclusive to the Black or gay communities, each bear an undue burden of the domestic epidemic. This is especially true for those of us who are both Black and gay, for Black and brown women, particularly for those who reside in the South,” said Jesse Milan Jr, president & CEO of AIDS United. “This is amplified sadly for our transgender sisters and brothers living in the region. But by focusing on the systemic inequities that fuel HIV, as well as the stigma and barriers they create to accessing care in the South, we hope to turn the tide of the epidemic and ensure that the region can finally free itself from its troubling history of social, economic and health disparities.”
“As we prepare to commemorate Black History Month, it is important that we reflect on the light and resilience that blazoned our community’s path of hope regardless of the pain we’ve had to endure,” concluded Juanita Davis, program director for Fund grantee Jackson Medical Mall Foundation. “HIV was just one more crisis darkening our path and it sought to silence us. But as our community has done countless times over more than four centuries, we broke our silence, fighting to reduce stigma and promote community wellness. When we speak now and are secure in our truth, we may address and resolve any problem, including HIV.”
The Fund is also currently accepting applications for Southern Action Grants to support advocacy and community mobilization, HIV prevention, care and supportive services. To learn more, please visit www.southernfund.org.
About the Southern HIV Impact Fund: The Southern HIV Impact Fund is a first-of-its-kind collaborative of the nation’s leading private and corporate funders of HIV-related programming. Convened by Funders Concerned About AIDS, the Fund’s contributors include Gilead Sciences, Ford Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson, Levi Strauss Foundation, and a generous anonymous donor, all of whom have committed to working jointly and leveraging their collective efforts to promote a more coordinated and effective response to the disproportionate impact of HIV in the U.S. South. The Fund is being managed by AIDS United.