31 Organizations Receive Support to Advocate for Sound HIV/AIDS Public Policy in 9 Southern States

AIDS United awards nearly $1.4 million as part of the Southern REACH grant-making initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- March 25, 2013 -- Thirty-one community-based organizations in the Southern United States will have increased capacity to advocate for sound public policy that address the needs of the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS thanks to recent grants from AIDS United. With support from the Ford Foundation, AIDS United recently granted nearly $1.4 million to organizations in the Southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Northern Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The grants, which are part of AIDS United’s Southern REACH (Regional Expansion of Access and Capacity to Address HIV/AIDS) initiative will support the development and expansion of programs that seek to achieve social change, shape responsible HIV/AIDS public policy, and/or respond to the underlying legal, political, and systemic barriers contributing to disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States. A list of grantees can be found at the end of this press release.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2010, 46% of new HIV diagnoses were given in the Southern Region. In 2010, seven of the nine states targeted by the REACH initiative (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) had HIV diagnosis rates that ranked among the top 10 among all states in the U.S.

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. South continues to be fueled by stigma, prejudices and poor public policy that allow the epidemic to rage on unabated,” said AIDS United President and CEO Michael Kaplan. “Communities in these disproportionately impacted areas must be supported as critical partners in educating their key decision makers to ensure people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS have access to crucial HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. We are so grateful for the Ford Foundation’s ongoing support so we can continue to affect social change to improve – and save – lives.”

“This is a critical time in our efforts to address HIV in the U.S. South," said Surina Khan, Director of the Gender Rights and Equality Unit of The Ford Foundation. "If we’re going to tackle the continuing HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, then communities at the centers of the epidemic need a much stronger role in shaping policies meant to end the epidemic. Policymakers from the South must hear even more from people living in communities within their districts. Southern REACH is making that possible, and we are extremely proud to partner with AIDS United to continue this important work.”


2013 Southern REACH Grantees

Acadiana C.A.R.E.S., Lafayette, LA
ACCESS Network Inc, Ridgeland, SC
AIDS Alabama Inc., Birmingham, AL
BASIC NWFL Inc, Panama City, FL
Birmingham AIDS Outreach Inc., Birmingham, AL
Careteam Inc., Myrtle Beach, SC
Catawba Care, Rock Hill, SC
Choices, Memphis, TN
Collaborative Solutions Inc., Birmingham, AL
Duke University AIDS Legal Project, Durham, NC
El Centro Hispano, Durham, NC
Equality Foundation of Georgia Inc., Atlanta, GA
Friends for Life Corporation, Memphis, TN
Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida Inc., Jacksonville, FL
Health Students Taking Action Together Inc., Atlanta, GA
Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, LA
Legal Services Alabama Inc., Montgomery, AL
Legal Services of Southern Piedmont Inc., Charlotte, NC
Living Affected Corporation, Little Rock, AR
Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS
NAESM, Atlanta, GA
Nashville CARES Inc., Nashville, TN
NO AIDS Task Force, New Orleans, LA
North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Raleigh, NC
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Durham, NC
OASIS (Okaloosa AIDS Support & Informational Services Inc.), Ft. Walton Beach, FL
SisterLove Inc., Atlanta, GA
South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, Columbia, SC
Southern AIDS Coalition, Birmingham, AL
Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Asheville, NC
Women With A Vision, New Orleans, LA