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

Washington, D.C. - March 26, 2012 - The Syringe Access Fund (SAF), a collaborative funding initiative of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Irene Diamond Fund and AIDS United, announced the award of 55 grants totaling $1.98 million for SAF's Round Seven Grant Cycle, which runs through 2013.

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 $10.4 million.

The newly-funded programs reflect a diversity of locations, populations and approaches, prioritizing underserved communities and areas of the United States with a 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 blood-borne illnesses, without promoting drug use. The Syringe Access Fund remains committed to ensuring these programs continue to exist and have ongoing impact to halt HIV transmission in our most vulnerable communities.

About the Syringe Access Fund Partners

ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established as a nonprofit organization in the United States in 1992 and as a registered charity in the United Kingdom in 1993 by Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised more than $225 million for worthy programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, the Foundation 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. The U.S. organization's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs throughout the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.

LEVI STRAUSS FOUNDATION
The Levi Strauss Foundation advances the human rights and well-being of underserved people touched by our business by taking courageous risks, supporting innovative community partnerships, and promoting the practice of good corporate citizenship. Established in 1952, the Levi Strauss Foundation is an independent private foundation that is grounded in pioneering legacy and enduring values of Levi Strauss & Co.: originality, integrity, empathy and courage.

IRENE DIAMOND FUND
The Irene Diamond Fund is a private foundation established in 1994 by the late philanthropist Irene Diamond. To date the Fund has given away more than $200 million for public health and public policy issues affecting poor and underserved communities, minority education, human rights and the performing arts. Since its inception, the Fund has provided over $60 million in funding to combat HIV/AIDS.

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

AIDS UNITED
The mission of AIDS United is to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States. We will achieve this goal through national, regional and local policy/advocacy, strategic grantmaking, and organizational capacity building. With partners throughout the country, we will work to ensure that people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS have access to the prevention and care services they need and deserve.

For more information on the Syringe Access Fund, contact Vignetta Charles, AIDS United Senior Vice President, at vcharles@aidsunited.org, or by calling 202-408-4848, ext 218.

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SYRINGE ACCESS FUND, CYCLE SEVEN GRANTEES

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc.

MA

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

IL

AIDS Project Hartford, Inc.

CT

AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Inc.

OH

Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association

AK

Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition

GA

Bethany Place

IL

Border AIDS Partnership (for Programa CompaƱeros, A. C.)

TX

Chicago Recovery Alliance

IL

Clean Needles Now

CA

CNDC dba Harm Reduction Action Center

CO

Colorado Health Network, Inc.

CO

Common Ground - The West Side HIV Community Center

CA

Community Health Awareness Group

MI

Community Health Empowerment/Exchange Works

CA

Down East AIDS Network, Inc.

ME

Drug Abuse Council of Snohomish County

WA

Drug Policy Alliance

NY

El Punto en la MontaƱa, Inc. 

PR

Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc.

CA

Fresno Needle Exchange Program

CA

Grand Rapids Red Project

MI

Harm Reduction Coalition

NY

Harm Reduction Institute

IN

HIPS

DC

HIV Prevention and Education Project of Alameda County, Inc.

CA

Homeless Youth Alliance

CA

HowardCenter, Inc.

VT

Kansas City Free Health Clinic

MO

Lower East Side Harm Reduction

NY

Mendocino County AIDS Volunteer Network

CA

Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition

MN

Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution

CA

New York Harm Reduction Educators, Inc.

NY

North Carolina Harm Reduction, Inc.

NC

Northern Exchange

AK

People's Harm Reduction Alliance

WA

Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region

OH

Point Defiance AIDS Project

WA

Points of Distribution

CA

Prevention Point Philadelphia, Inc.

PA

Prevention Point Pittsburgh

PA

Safer Alternatives thru Networking and Education

CA

Santa Fe Mountain Center, Inc.

NM

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center

WI

South Jersey Against AIDS dba South Jersey AIDS Alliance

NJ

St. James Infirmary

CA

Street Outreach Supporters

CA

Tarzana Treatment Center, Inc.

CA

Tulane University (The Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund)

LA

VOCAL-NY

NY

Washington AIDS Partnership

DC

Well of Hope Community Development Corporation, Inc.

NJ

Wellness HIV/AIDS Services, Inc.

MI

Women with a Vision

LA