$1.5 Million in Grant Support Available Through Southern REACH Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C.   August 16, 2010 -- The National AIDS Fund (NAF), with support from  the Ford Foundation, has announced the opportunity for grant support through its Southern REACH (Regional Expansion of Access and Capacity to Address HIV/AIDS) grantmaking initiative. The overall goal of the Southern REACH initiative is to protect and advance the health, human rights and dignity of persons most affected by HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States.

Organizations located in Alabama, Arkansas, Northern Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, andTennessee are eligible to apply for a Southern REACH grant, which will support strategic HIV/AIDS policy and advocacy activities led by community-based organizations, advocacy coalitions, and other allies with public policy and advocacy experience.  Successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 in grant support, along with consideration for technical assistance, for a one-year grant period.  Interested applicants should click here for links to the application documents, including the request for proposal and application details.  Applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Friday, October 15, 2010.

"We are thrilled that our collaboration with the Ford Foundation once again enables the National AIDS Fund to invest strategically in building the capacity of community-based organizations to develop HIV-focused public policy and activities in the Southern United States," said NAF President and CEO Kandy Ferree. "We expect to award approximately $1.5 million through Southern REACH for these targeted activities."

According to Ferree, this significant investment in policy advocacy activities is unique among funders from both the public and private sectors.  "The Ford Foundation continues to demonstrate its unparalleled - and expanding - commitment to fighting the disease in the U.S. Southern region, where almost 50 percent of the 56,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS occur annually," she said.

Southern REACH was launched in 2007 to strengthen community capacity to address HIV/AIDS across a nine-state Southern region.  Since its inception, Southern REACH has supported more than 60 organizations serving historically disenfranchised populations that are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.  Through this initiative, NAF has awarded over $4.6 million in grants over a three-year period.

Through Southern REACH, The National AIDS Fund and the Ford Foundation intend to generate significant impact on HIV/AIDS public policy and advocacy in the Southern U.S, with particular focus on the disproportionate impact of HIV on Latino populations and emerging legal issues.  Emerging legal issues include: the criminalization of HIV exposure and transmission through sexual contact in 12 out of 14 U.S. Southern states; heightened criminalization of sex workers; and HIV-based segregation, exclusion and discrimination.

Terry McGovern of the Ford Foundation said, "If we want to reduce the devastating and disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS in the South, we must move quickly to engage and empower the people whose lives are most impacted by the disease. Our work with the National AIDS Fund helps us support the most effective, community-driven activities that make more people aware of the realities of HIV and promote the human rights of people affected by the disease."