Access to Care (A2C)
AIDS United’s multi-sponsored Access to Care (A2C) initiative was created to increase the access to and retention in effective HIV healthcare and support services by people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly those living in poverty who know their HIV status but are not receiving HIV-specific care or support.
Emphasis on hard-to-reach populations is integral in AIDS United’s A2C work, which seeks to: identify the systemic and/or personal barriers to care people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) may experience; and support the development of systems and interventions to alleviate those barriers and implement innovative approaches to ensuring access to and consistent engagement in care. A2C is designed to reach the most difficult populations with refined outreach strategies and with appropriate resources that otherwise would not be available. All funded projects within A2C portfolio have developed a team of organizations that are collaborating to reduce barriers to care, provide innovative solutions to long-standing access problems, and to change the way that systems operate in their community. AIDS United is committed to supporting projects that not only focus on individual level solutions to barriers to care, but also systemic change will last long after AIDS United support is gone.
THE CATALYST: BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB’S MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR “POSITIVE CHARGE” GRANT
A2C kicked off on World AIDS Day 2009 with the announcement of a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to AIDS United from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) Positive Charge initiative to help break down barriers to care for people living with HIV/AIDS. In May 2010, five communities in the United States were awarded Positive Charge grants for the development of targeted access to HIV care initiatives - Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y., Oakland / San Francisco, Calif., and the states of North Carolina and Louisiana. The grant awards provide an opportunity for geographically and culturally diverse organizations within a region to combine their expertise in the development of community-driven solutions to help enable greater access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment.
SOCIAL INNOVATION FUND AWARD HELPS TO EXPAND A2C INITIATIVE
In July, 2010, AIDS United was awarded $ 3.6 million dollars from the Social Innovation Fund, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to significantly expand the scope of its A2C initiative in support of 10 innovative public-private partnerships to improve individual health outcomes and strengthen local services systems, connecting economically and socially marginalized individuals living with HIV to high quality supportive services and health care. The CNCS’s match requirement of AIDS United and the communities it will fund ensures that up to $14 million total dollars will be leveraged for and invested in life-saving HIV-focused access to care programs.
ALIGNING WITH THE GOALS OF THE NATIONAL HIV/AIDS STRATEGY
AIDS United’s A2C Initiative directly supports the “Increasing Access to Care” goals of the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), released in July, 2010 by the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy (ONAP). During the development of the NHAS, ONAP emphasized that successful implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) would require the commitment and collaboration of the corporate, philanthropic and government sectors. With the investments of the Social Innovation Fund, BMS, and Walmart, and with the millions of additional dollars leveraged from those investments from corporate, philanthropic and government funding sources, AIDS United’s A2C initiative is one of the first public-private partnerships in the real-time implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and serves as a model of how public-private partnerships can be leveraged to make strategic investments to enhance the health and welfare of people living with HIV/AIDS through increased access to life-saving HIV care and treatment.