Commitment to the Hard-hit Southern U.S. Continues – Letters of Interest Now Open for Organizations in Two Additional States, Texas and Virginia
Research Triangle Park, NC – February 4, 2013 – ViiV Healthcare today announced that it will expand the Positive Action Southern Initiative to two additional states and issued a new request for letters of interest (LOIs). First established in 2010, the Positive Action Southern Initiative is a collaborative, community-focused program that focuses on linking people living with HIV into care and/or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease progression. With today’s announcement, the Positive Action Southern Initiative will have committed over $2.5M towards funding grass-roots projects designed to address local gaps in care and services for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS in this hard-hit region.
“We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of directing resources to where they are most needed, and supporting grass-roots organizations that understand the local dynamics that influence the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their communities,” said Bill Collier, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare. “Based on the encouraging results achieved during the earlier phases of the Positive Action Southern Initiative, as well as the continued urgent need to support the HIV community in the Southern United States, we are proud to again expand this important program.”
This latest expansion will bring the program’s mission of reducing disparities in HIV/AIDS care and treatment among disproportionately-affected African-American and Latino populations to a total of 10 Southern states– Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In addition to extending the Positive Action Southern Initiative into Texas and Virginia, ViiV Healthcare also announced that next month it will be issuing new Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to current network members in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
The initiative reflects the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which prioritizes directing resources to areas and populations that have the greatest need. The Southern United States is disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, representing 45 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses[i], with new infection rates highest among African-American, followed by Latino populations. In 2010, 43 percent of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses in Texas were among African-Americans, and 32 percent were among Latinos.[ii] Texas also had the 4th highest number of AIDS diagnoses in the United States during 2010[iii]. In the same year in Virginia, 64 percent of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses were among African-Americans and 8 percent were among Latinos (note that 4.7 percent of the total population of Virginia is Latino).[ii], [iv] Through the Positive Action Southern Initiative, selected organizations that work to tackle these disparities and their root causes will be awarded up to $50,000 per year for a provisional commitment over the next two years.
“The HIV/AIDS crisis in the South is a real one, and it needs to be addressed before the problem gets worse,” said Dázon Dixon Diallo, Executive Director of SisterLove, Inc. “The Positive Action Southern Initiative represents an important part of the solution, as it fosters necessary collaboration among the HIV community and establishes effective partnerships. Tangible results of the program have already been observed within the communities it serves, and the expansion of this support to Texas and Virginia is critical to effecting change for the most at-risk populations in these areas.”
The Southern Initiative is part of the broader Positive Action program that has empowered community organizations in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. ViiV Healthcare is committed to building on the success of the global program with efforts to support projects in the United States that address areas of greatest need.
Southern Initiative Application Process
The latest phase of the program focuses on supporting African-American and Latino populations in Texas and Virginia, and is dedicated to helping individuals living with HIV and providing linkages to care and treatment adherence. Priority will be given to projects that address gaps in services.
The funds are intended to support existing, innovative programs with strategic support of program enhancements, such as:
- Adding mental health counseling to an existing, successful Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS) program
- Adding linguistically and culturally appropriate resources (e.g., a Spanish-speaking staff member and materials) for adherence education and counseling
- Training staff to focus on issues related to clients who have been incarcerated and funding an ongoing support group for the formerly incarcerated to address linkages to care
- Training staff in “motivational interviewing” to enhance skills and providing innovative incentives to further motivate high-risk clients to stay adherent
- Supporting efforts to address disparities and linkages to care among African-American and Latino gay men
Submitting an Initial Letter of Interest
Interested parties can receive detailed information about the two-phase proposal process and download an application form at /community-partnerships/the-viiv-healthcare-effect/positive-action-southern-initiative.aspx.
Questions will be publicly answered in the FAQ document located on the website. Additional questions about the process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of Interest must be received by March 15, 2013, 5:00 p.m. EST for consideration to the full proposal phase.
All applicants invited to submit full proposals will be considered Network Finalists. Finalists will be invited to be a part of the ViiV Healthcare Positive Action Southern Initiative Network. Some of the Network activities include invitations to attend Southern Initiative networking meetings and related events, such as the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). Organizations awarded grants will be notified in August. Programs receiving grant awards will be posted on the ViiV Healthcare website and, where possible, learnings and insights gained from the projects will be broadly shared.
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 individuals, 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.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. The company’s 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.
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[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV and AIDS in the United States by Geographic Distribution. Accessed January 10, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/geographic.htm. and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV in the United States: At A Glance. Accessed January 10, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm.
[ii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHHSTP Atlas: AIDS diagnoses in 2010. Accessed December 19, 2012 from http://gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/NCHHSTPAtlas/main.html.
[iii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic Statistics: HIV/AIDS. September 2012. Accessed December 19, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm.
[iv] The Hispanic Population: 2010. 2010 Census Briefs. Issued May 2011. Accessed January 10, 2013 from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-04.pdf.