Syringe Access Fund Awards Nearly $2 Million In Grants For Syringe Exchange & Related Public Policy

Washington, D.C. – February 3, 2010 – The Syringe Access Fund (SAF), a collaborative funding initiative of the Irene Diamond Fund, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation and the National AIDS Fund, announced the award of 46 grants totaling nearly $2 million for SAF’s Round Six Grant Cycle, which runs through 2011.

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 $8.5 million.

The newly funded programs reflect a diversity of locations, populations and approaches, prioritizing underserved communities and areas of the United States with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and injection drug use. A list of grantees is at the end of this press release.

Conclusive scientific evidence has shown that SEPs can significantly reduce transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other bloodborne illnesses, without promoting drug use. All of the SAF partners remain committed to ensuring these programs continue to exist and have ongoing impact to halt HIV transmission in our most vulnerable communities.

The recent lifting of the ban on federal funding for SEPs does not eliminate the need for private sector resources or public sector responsibility for integrating SEPs into comprehensive HIV and hepatitis C prevention strategies. There is still a need to ensure that federal and state resources begin to flow, and that state and local policymakers address policy barriers that impede the implementation of programs at a community level.

About the Funding Partners

IRENE DIAMOND FUND
The Irene Diamond Fund, established in 1994 by the late philanthropist Irene Diamond, has an interest in HIV/AIDS, human rights and the performing arts. The foundation, based in New York City, supports a limited number of self-selected projects, and since its inception has provided over $55 million in funding to combat HIV/AIDS.

ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established in the United States in 1992 (EJAF-US) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 (EJAF-UK) by founder and chairman Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised over $175 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. EJAF-US’s current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents.

LEVI STRAUSS FOUNDATION
Established in 1952, the Levi Strauss Foundation provides grants to community-based organizations working to create meaningful social change in places where Levi Strauss & Co. has a business presence. Among the first funders to respond to HIV/AIDS in 1985, the Foundation has awarded over $40 million to support Syringe Exchange and advocacy efforts to address the epidemic in more than 50 countries around the world.

THE NATIONAL AIDS FUND
The National AIDS Fund’s (NAF) mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS by promoting leadership and generating resources for effective community responses. Through its network of Community Partnerships, NAF promotes local planning and provides grants and technical support to as many as 400 service organizations annually. Since 1988, NAF and its partners have invested over $160 million to combat HIV/AIDS.

For more information on the Syringe Access Fund, contact Michael Rhein, NAF Director of Programs, at mrhein@aidsfund.org, or by calling 202-408-4848 ext 218.

ORGANIZATION

STATE

GRANT TYPE

Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association

AK

Syringe Exchange

Northern Exchange/Interior AIDS Association

AK

Syringe Exchange

AIDS Community Research Consortium

CA

Syringe Exchange

Berkeley Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution

CA

Syringe Exchange

Clean Needles Now

CA

Syringe Exchange

Common Ground - The Westside HIV Community Center

CA

Syringe Exchange

Community Health Empowerment/Exchange Works

CA

Syringe Exchange

HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County (HEPPAC)

CA

Syringe Exchange

Homeless Youth Alliance/San Francisco Needle Exchange

CA

Syringe Exchange

Points of Distribution

CA

Syringe Exchange

Safer Alternatives thru Networking & Education

CA

Syringe Exchange

St. James Infirmary

CA

Syringe Exchange

Street Outreach Supporters

CA

Syringe Exchange

Tarzana Treatment Center, Inc.

CA

Syringe Exchange

Tenderloin Health

CA

Syringe Exchange

Tri-City Health Center

CA

Syringe Exchange

AIDS Action Foundation

DC

Policy Improvement

Family and Medical Counseling Service, Inc.

DC

Syringe Exchange

HIPS

DC

Syringe Exchange

PreventionWorks!

DC

Syringe Exchange

Washington AIDS Partnership

DC

Policy Improvement

Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

GA

Syringe Exchange

AIDS Foundation of Chicago/Illinois Coalition of Harm Reduction Providers

IL

Syringe Exchange

Cambridge Cares About AIDS

MA

Syringe Exchange

Physicians for Human Rights

MA

Policy Improvement

Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition

MN

Syringe Exchange

Kansas City Free Health Clinic

MO

Syringe Exchange

Fort Peck Harm Reduction Program

MT

Syringe Exchange

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition

NC

Policy Improvement

Camden Area Health Education Center

NJ

Syringe Exchange

Paterson Counseling Center

NJ

Syringe Exchange

South Jersey Against AIDS

NJ

Syringe Exchange

Drug Policy Alliance

NY

Policy Improvement

Harm Reduction Coalition

NY

Policy Improvement

Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center

NY

Syringe Exchange

New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN)/VOCAL-Users Union

NY

Policy Improvement

AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland

OH

Policy Improvement

Prevention Point Philadelphia

PA

Syringe Exchange

Casa Joven del Caribe

PR

Syringe Exchange

El Punto el la Montaña

PR

Syringe Exchange

Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigacion

PR

Syringe Exchange

Access Project

TX

Policy Improvement

Programa Compañeros

TX

Syringe Exchange

People's Harm Reduction Alliance

WA

Syringe Exchange

Point Defiance AIDS Projects/NASEN

WA

Policy Improvement