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People Organizing Positively

AIDS United, with funding from Gilead Sciences Inc., is pleased to announce the opportunity for grant support through People Organizing Positively (POP)!

People Organizing Positively (POP), through support from Gilead Sciences, has provided almost $1.5 million of partner funds to communities across the United States. Over the past five years, POP has supported a total of 44 grants to 26 organizations working in 25 states across all regions of the country and engaged over 500,000 PLHIV either in person or virtually. Information on the most recent cohort of grantees is here.

In the thirty-nine years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first cases of what would later be defined as HIV, biomedical interventions and access to quality care have transformed HIV from a once-fatal disease to a chronic, manageable condition. This progress would not have been possible without the advocacy and leadership of people living with HIV who were the driving force behind pushing for HIV cure and treatment research with urgency.
AIDS United believes that realizing the true potential of this moment in the HIV epidemic requires partnership with an engaged grassroots movement of people living with HIV. People living with HIV have a critical role to play in combating stigma, serving as role models for disclosure and engagement in care, working to decriminalize HIV, and leading advocacy activities by—and for—people living with HIV, towards policy and programmatic solutions. 

The goals of POP are to:

  1. Support organizations that embrace the principles of Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV.
  2. Increase leadership capacity of people living with HIV.
  3. Support grassroots activities that involve the leadership of PLHIV.
  4. Strengthen the organizational practices that embody and operationalize MIPA values.

The people living with HIV self-empowerment movement began when an advisory committee of people living with AIDS convened in Denver, Colorado in 1983 and drafted the Denver Principles. These principles of “Nothing about us without us” laid the foundation for the concept of "meaningful involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS," known also as MIPA.

MIPA is the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in the development, implementation, resolution and evaluation of programs and policies which impact their lives. MIPA assumes that:

  • People living with HIV are subject matter experts in the issues that they face and have the right to participate in decision-making processes about issues that affect their lives.
  • Those most affected by issues are integral to identifying sustainable solutions to address them.
  • People living with HIV who are involved must be reflective of the local community affected by HIV. Efforts to ensure involvement should emphasize populations often ignored or excluded from decision-making.

MIPA does not assume that all people living with HIV can be represented by a single person, or that perspectives are race and gender neutral. Because disclosure of HIV status can be dangerous, MIPA also does not require disclosure of HIV status for participation. MIPA is more than tokenistic representation and participation.

MIPA affirms that people living with HIV must be involved in decision-making at all levels: their own health, in how organizations serve them, and how their communities and nations respond to their needs. From local HIV planning bodies to the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, MIPA has guided and demanded that the leadership of people living with HIV be followed. The POP Initiative will mirror MIPA principles with the expectation that PLHIV must be involved in decision-making at all levels of this project.

Grant Information

This year, against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, AIDS United will be providing 10 grants of $35,000 that will be unrestricted funds. This support is for organizations serving and advocating for people living with HIV, which demonstrate organizational dedication to the leadership development of people living with HIV, and grounded in the principles of meaningful involvement of people living with HIV (MIPA).
These resources will prioritize support for organizations who center people living with HIV in all aspects of their work.  The POP program provides coaching and technical assistance in partnership with the US PLHIV Caucus for leadership development of people living with HIV within granted organizations. 


Regional, community and faith-based organizations, including but not limited to AIDS service organizations, federally qualified health centers and/or established networks of people living with HIV are invited to apply as long as they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Representation of people living with HIV is REQUIRED – Organizations that cannot or do not demonstrate PLHIV in the representation table will NOT be considered.
  • Budget Parameters – Organizations submitting an LOI for POP should have an annual budget that does not exceed $2,000,000.
  • Documented Non-Profit Status – Applicants must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations, per the guidelines set forth by the Internal Revenue Service with proper 501(c)3 status. Only organizations located in the United States or the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may apply. Organizations that do not hold 501(c)3 status must have an already established relationship with a fiscal sponsor, holding such status, in order to apply.
  • Organizational Viability – Organizations should be viable with or without the grant. These funds are not intended to help start new organizations or serve as a replacement for discontinued funding.

Full eligibility information is found in the POP Year 6 LOI background document found here.

Important Links and Documents:


Assistance during the Application Process:

Our staff is available to answer any questions and to provide technical support. We prefer that you submit questions and requests for assistance to our dedicated email address,, with your organization’s name in the subject line of the message. You may also call Julio Fonseca, at AIDS United, at (202) 876-2835.

Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA)

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