Syringe Access Fund Awards More $2 Million in Grants

Washington, D.C. – February 27, 2014 – The Syringe Access Fund (SAF), a collaborative funding initiative of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Irene Diamond Fund, Tides Foundation, and AIDS United, announced the award of 50 grants totaling $2.4 million for SAF’s Round Eight Grant Cycle, which runs through 2016. A list of grantees can be seen by clicking here.

The country’s largest private supporter of syringe exchange programs (SEPs), the Syringe Access Fund was created in 2004 to support syringe exchange and public policy activities to reduce the risk of HIV infection, hepatitis C and other blood-borne pathogens among injection drug users and their sexual partners through expanded access to sterile syringes. To date, the SAF has awarded more than $15.1 million.

The newly funded programs reflect a diversity of locations, populations and approaches, prioritizing underserved communities and areas of the United States with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and injection drug use.

Conclusive scientific evidence has shown that SEPs significantly reduce transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne illnesses, without promoting drug use. The Syringe Access Fund remains committed to ensuring these programs continue to exist and have ongoing impact to halt HIV transmission in our most vulnerable communities.

About the Syringe Access Fund Partners

At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS.

The Irene Diamond Fund is a private foundation established in 1994 by the late philanthropist Irene Diamond. To date the Fund has given away more than $200 million for public health and public policy issues affecting poor and underserved communities, minority education, human rights and the performing arts. Since its inception, the Fund has provided over $60 million in funding to combat HIV/AIDS.

The Levi Strauss Foundation drives pioneering change by funding programs that push the frontiers of possibility around the world. The foundation’s philanthropic work is grounded in the enduring values of Levi Strauss & Co.: originality, integrity, empathy and courage. Levi Straus Foundation is committed to bringing those values to life while leading at the forefront of change. Through its grantmaking around the world, Levi Strauss Foundation focuses on making a difference on three issues – HIV/AIDS, Asset Building and Workers Rights. We also support programs that advance the fields of philanthropy and human rights.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. The foundations seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check. Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

Tides Foundation actively promotes change toward a healthy society, one which is founded on principles of social justice, broadly shared economic opportunity, a robust democratic process, and sustainable environmental practices. Tides believes healthy societies rely fundamentally on respect for human rights, the vitality of communities, and a celebration of diversity. Tides is a nonprofit organization that works at the heart of today’s most critical issues, supporting grantees and programs that are core to our country’s nonprofit infrastructure and social service delivery. It works in partnership with people whose work confronts issues like global warming, AIDS treatment and prevention, and economic disparity. Bringing together people, resources, and innovation, Tides is a convener and connector for those in our community and beyond.

The mission of AIDS United is to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States. We will achieve this goal through national, regional and local policy/advocacy, strategic grantmaking, and organizational capacity building. With partners throughout the country, we will work to ensure that people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS have access to the prevention and care services they need and deserve.

For more information on the Syringe Access Fund, contact Vignetta Charles, AIDS United Senior Vice President, at, or by calling 202-408-4848, ext 218.