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ViiV Healthcare Reaffirms Commitment to US Regions Hardest Hit by HIV/AIDS

Positive Action Southern Initiative Awards Grants to Seven Organizations in Four Additional Southern States

Research Triangle Park, N.C. September 26, 2011 -- ViiV Healthcare today announced the 2011 grant awardees of the Positive Action Southern Initiative expansion, focused on supporting African-American and Latino populations in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Established in 2010, the initiative focuses on linking people living with HIV into care and/or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease progression.

“Access to adequate resources and support for effective interventions and quality services to fight HIV continues to be a challenge in the southern United States,” said Patrick Packer, Executive Director of the Southern AIDS Coalition. “With these grants, the Positive Action Southern Initiative helps to provide life-saving resources to those who need them most.”

Recent data has shown that African-Americans account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections, and that Hispanics account for 20 percent of all new HIV infections.i The southern United States is also disproportionately affected, with present data showing that this region represents nearly half (45 percent) of new AIDS diagnoses, and has the greatest number of people estimated to be living with AIDS.ii

Initially piloted in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Southern Initiative is part of ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action program, a collaborative, community-focused program designed to address gaps in services or programs that support care and treatment adherence among individuals living with HIV/AIDS. ViiV Healthcare is committed to building on the success of the global Positive Action program with efforts to support projects in the United States that address populations most affected by HIV/AIDS.

“ViiV Healthcare is committed to supporting communities most affected by HIV. The local community solutions and programs proposed by our awardees represent realistic goals that will help to lessen the impact of HIV in disproportioned communities,” said Bill Collier, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare. “The HIV community plays a pivotal role in positively impacting areas in critical need of HIV/AIDS resources, and we are proud to assist these grassroots organizations and programs to further support the care of people living with HIV.”

ViiV Healthcare and community advisors have selected a total of seven organizations to receive grants up to $50,000 per year over the next two years to support their programs specifically focused on reducing disparities in HIV/AIDS linkages to care and treatment among African-American and Latinos in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The following organizations were selected as grant awardees:

  • BASIC NWFL, based in Panama City, FL will enhance its U R Connected program and its three core components of Positive Education, Positive Referral and Positive Connection, which uniquely address the obstacles that prevent access to quality care and treatment adherence for people living with HIV/AIDS in this generally rural area.
  • Care Resource (or Community AIDS Resource), based in Miami, FL, will enhance its Intervention - Assertive Community Treatment for Women of Color (I-ACT) program to support mental health services to address the unmet mental health needs for participating African-American and Latino women who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Inc. (JASMYN), based in Jacksonville, FL, will enhance its Safety Net Program with services to better address the challenges of linkage to care for HIV positive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth and to prevent homelessness by providing training in motivational interviewing and medical case management.
  • Nashville CARES, based in Nashville, TN, will enhance its Healthy U program, which trains people living with HIV/AIDS as peer mentors to improve health literacy and management of treatment, medication and health needs.
  • RAIN, Inc. (Regional AIDS Interfaith Network), based in Charlotte, NC, will support a critical gap in case management services for those clients who are no longer eligible for Medical Case Management but continue to need support.
  • South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, based in Columbia, SC, will expand its PHARAOH intervention program to support incarcerated HIV-positive African-American men preparing for release from the state’s prison system.
  • WellFlorida Council Inc., based in Gainesville, FL, will establish a new peer-based approach to its Consumer Access Peer Educator (CAPE) program focused on HIV-positive Hispanic and women of color and their access to health services. Peer-delivered strategies will help to overcome barriers through a tailored curriculum and recruitment/training process to enhance linkages to care.

About ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action Program

When Positive Action was created in 1992 it was the first pharmaceutical company program of its kind to support communities affected by HIV and AIDS. The program targets its funds towards community-focused projects that reach those most affected by HIV, particularly in marginalized or vulnerable populations. These include youth, women and girls, sex workers, injection drug users, MSM, the incarcerated, transgender and gay men. Positive Action works to build capacity in these communities to enable them to tackle stigma and discrimination, to test innovations in education, care and treatment, and to deliver greater and meaningful involvement of people living with HIV.

In 2010 Positive Action worked with 18 partners affecting communities in 50 countries around the globe. www.viivhealthcare.com/community-partnerships.aspx

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Our aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before, and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.

Inquiries:    
US Media inquiries: Marc Meachem +1 (919) 483 5005
UK Media inquiries: Rebecca Hunt +44 (0)20 8380 6275

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i Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet. Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States, 2006–2009. Published August 3, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011 from http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HIV-Infections-2006-2009.pdf

ii Kaiser Family Foundation. Fact Sheet. The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States. Published June 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011 from http://www.kff.org/hivaids/upload/3029-12.pdf