Ten Community-based Organizations in Puerto Rico Receive Funding from AIDS United

WASHINGTON, D.C.  January 12, 2011 – Committed to helping curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in hard-hit Puerto Rico, AIDS United recently awarded more than $255K  to 10 community-based organizations for critical HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs targeting the US territory’s most affected populations, including substance users, including intravenous drug users; gay and bisexual men;women and girls, particularly those in high risk situations, including domestic violence; commercial sex workers, incarcerated/formerly incarcerated individuals; and persons who are homeless.  The grant period runs January 1 – December 31, 2011.

With an HIV death rate nearly four times higher than the national rate, and ranking 4th in AIDS case rates among all U.S. states and territories in 2007, Puerto Rico has some of the most concerning HIV/AIDS statistics in the United States.  Funding from AIDS United will bolster the capacity and build the local leadership of community-based organizations to provide vital HIV/AIDS prevention services.

“Puerto Rico’s alarming HIV/AIDS statistics are only exacerbated by the limited availability and underfunded array of community-based HIV prevention and education outreach services,” said Vignetta Charles, PhD, AIDS United Vice President of Programs and Evaluation.  “With a $3.2 billion budget gap in 2009, a Fiscal State of Emergency declared by Puerto Rico’s governor, and rising unemployment rates in Puerto Rico, HIV/AIDS risk and the demand for public health services will only increase in the future.  It is our moral responsibility as HIV/AIDS grantmakers to do everything we can to ensure the continued viability of the few outstanding community agencies that are persevering in this incredibly challenging environment.”

For a list of grantees and descriptions of their HIV/AIDS projects supported through by this grant, click here.