Addressing Health Disparities

“Rarely is there a space available to women of color to come together and share their personal stories, learn about positive sexual health choices, and engage in fun activities.”

Staff member,
City University of New York’s CHERISH program, which promotes positive health messages to young women of color through artistic performances

Community Grants Program

The EMPOWERED Community Grants Program is part of a broader effort by 14-time Grammy Award-winning artist and HIV advocate Alicia Keys to reach women in the U.S about HIV/AIDS, including a cross-platform public information campaign developed with Greater Than AIDS, called EMPOWERED. Other elements include targeted media messages and community outreach. Greater Than AIDS is a domestic response to the HIV epidemic; the campaign is led by the Kaiser Family Foundation together with the Black AIDS Institute and supported by a broad coalition of public and private sector partners.

Distinguished women on the EMPOWERED advisory committee and across four community-based organizations assumed key leadership roles. The women will be focused on efforts to ending HIV among women across the country. Each organization receives $20,000 to help advance community-level efforts focused on women and HIV/AIDS.

Grants Program Organizations
  • Creative Arts Team, Research Foundation
    of the City University of New York, New York City
  • Frannie Peabody Center, Portland, ME
  • North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Durham, NC
  • SisterLove, Atlanta, GA
Advisory Committee
  • Dawn Averitt – Founder and Chair of The Well Project
  • Dr. Ada Adimora – Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina
  • Paurvi Bhatt – Senior Director for Global Access, Medtronic Philanthropy
  • Tayla Colton – Senior Director of Programs, Keep a Child Alive
  • Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick – Medical Director, Infectious Disease Care Center at the United Medical Center
  • Anu Gupta – Director, Corporate Contributions Division, Johnson & Johnson
  • Vanessa Johnson, JD – Co-owner and Manager, Ribbon Consulting Group
  • Alicia Keys – Singer-songwriter; Co-Founder, Keep a Child Alive; HIV/AIDS advocate
  • Naina Khanna, JD - Executive Director, Positive Women’s Network – US (PWN-USA)
  • Terry McGovern – Professor of Population and Family Health and Director of the Women’s Health and Human Rights Advocacy Initiative, Columbia University
  • Leisha McKinley-Beach – Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Technical Assistance, the Black AIDS Institute
Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has an HIV death rate higher than any U.S. state or territory—a rate nearly four times the national rate.

AIDS United’s funding collaborative with Elton John AIDS Foundation, H. van Ameringen Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and MAC AIDS Fund is designed to build capacity of community-based organizations on the island to more effectively combat the epidemic. In 2013, the funds from this collaborative supported the prevention work of six organizations, reaching Puerto Rico’s most impacted populations including young gay and bisexual men, young people, and substance users.

A pivotal event for 2013 was the convening of Puerto Rico community-based organizations, which included a grantees-only meeting, as well as a capacity-building institute for all current and former applicants. Topics focused on utilizing social media, grant-writing basics, and a session on the Affordable Care Act from both the national and local perspective.

2013 Puerto Rico Grantees
  • Family Planning Association of Puerto Rico (PROFAMILIA), San Juan, PR
  • Hogar Fortaleza Del Caido, Inc., Loíza, PR
  • Migrant Health Center, Mayagüez, PR
  • Puerto Rico Community Network for Clinical Research on AIDS (PR CoNCRA), San Juan, PR
  • Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, PR
  • Taller Salud, Loíza, PR
Syringe Access

AIDS United has long been committed to supporting syringe access programs, which are scientifically proven to reduce the transmission of HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne pathogens. Through several programmatic and policy initiatives, AIDS United has supported both direct service programs and advocacy activities.

One of those initiatives includes serving as the steward organization of the Syringe Access Fund, which was created in 2004 to support—and expand—sterile syringe exchange and public policy activities among injection drug users and their sexual partners. To date, the Syringe Access Fund has awarded more than $15.1 million to grantees across the country. Alongside AIDS United, leading partners include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Irene Diamond Fund, Levi Strauss Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation.

The Syringe Access Fund awarded approximately two-year grants for a total of $2 million. Through this collaboration, AIDS United directly funds a subset of the organizations supported by resources from the Irene Diamond Fund, Levi Strauss Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Tides Foundation. These grantees are noted with an asterisk (*). The remaining grantees are funded directly under the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

“Thanks to AIDS United’s support, we can reach more people, host more meetings, organize more effectively around issues, improve the quality of our services and, ultimately, move closer to severely reducing the HIV/AIDS and hepatitis incidence in North Carolina.”

Robert Childs,
Executive Director, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc.

SAF 2013 Grantees:
  • AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts – MA
  • AIDS Foundation of Chicago – IL
  • AIDS Project Hartford – CT
  • AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, Inc. – OH*
  • Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association - AK
  • amFAR* – NY/DC/Thailand
  • Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc. – GA
  • Bethany Place – IL*
  • Border AIDS Partnership - TX
  • Chicago Recovery Alliance - IL
  • Clean Needles Now / LA Community - CA
  • Colorado Nonprofit Development Center and Harm Reduction Action Center - CO
  • Community Health Awareness Group - MI
  • Down East AIDS Network, Inc. - ME
  • Drug Abuse Council of Snohomish County – WA
  • Drug Policy Alliance – NY*
  • El Punto en la Montaña - PR
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego - CA
  • Fresno Needle Exchange Program - CA
  • Grand Rapids Red Project - MI
  • Harm Reduction Coalition – NY*
  • Harm Reduction Services - CA
  • Health Outreach Project - CA
  • HIPS - DC
  • HIV Education and Prevention Project of Alameda County - CA
  • Homeless Youth Alliance – CA
  • Howard Center, Inc. - VT
  • Kansas City Free Health Clinic – MO
  • Lower East Side Harm Reduction Coalition - NY
  • Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network - CA
  • Migrant Health Center, Inc. - PR
  • Needle Exchange Emergency Distribution (Berkeley NEED) - CA
  • New York Harm Reduction Educators - NY
  • North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc. – NC
  • Northern Exchange - AK
  • People’s Harm Reduction Alliance - WA
  • Point Defiance AIDS Project – WA*
  • Points of Distribution - CA
  • Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region - OH
  • Prevention Point Philadelphia - PA
  • Prevention Point Pittsburgh - PA
  • Safe Alternatives through Networking and Education – CA
  • Santa Fe Mountain Center – NM*
  • South Jersey Against AIDS, Inc., DBA South Jersey AIDS Alliance - NJ
  • St. James Infirmary - CA
  • Street Outreach Supporters - Venice Family Clinic - CA
  • Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY) – NY*
  • Washington AIDS Partnership – DC*
  • Well of Hope Community Development – NJ*
  • Women With a Vision, Inc. - LA
Southern REACH

The Southern REACH (Regional Expansion of Access and Capacity to Address HIV/ AIDS) initiative, a longstanding partnership with the Ford Foundation, supports the improvement of HIV/AIDS-focused policy and advocacy activities of community-based organizations in nine states within the Southern United States: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida (northern part of state), Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Southern REACH grantees target multiple advocacy issues each grant year and in various ways. Through advocacy and educational events, people living with HIV/ AIDS were given the tools to become advocates and stakeholders. Advocates then become engaged in policy improvement efforts. Grantees organized and sponsored thousands of advocacy and educational events that impacted over 50,000 people.

Regional coordination remains a strong theme among the REACH grantees to strengthen their regional advocacy efforts. The Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson, Mississippi worked in partnership with AIDS Law of Louisiana, a program of NO/AIDS Task Force, to collaborate on regional challenges of people living with HIV/AIDS.

“We trained over 400 advocates at the Activate U Advocacy training held in conjunction with our annual Positive Living Conference.”

Okaloosa AIDS Support &
Informational Services, Inc. (OASIS)

Advocates from North Carolina AIDS Action Network help to share their voice to dispel HIV stigma.

REACH 2013 Grantees:
  • Acadiana C.A.R.E.S., Lafayette, LA
  • ACCESS Network Inc., Ridgeland, SC
  • AIDS Alabama Inc., Birmingham, AL
  • BASIC NWFL Inc, Panama City, FL
  • Birmingham AIDS Outreach Inc., Birmingham, AL
  • Careteam Inc., Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Catawba Care, Rock Hill, SC
  • Choices, Memphis, TN
  • Collaborative Solutions, Inc., Birmingham, AL
  • Duke University AIDS Legal Project, Durham, NC
  • El Centro Hispano, Durham, NC
  • Equality Foundation of Georgia Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Friends for Life Corporation, Memphis, TN
  • Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida Inc., Jacksonville, FL
  • Health Students Taking Action Together Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, LA
  • Legal Services Alabama Inc., Montgomery, AL
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont Inc., Charlotte, NC
  • Living Affected Corporation, Little Rock, AR
  • Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS
  • National AIDS & Education Services for Minorities, Atlanta, GA
  • Nashville CARES Inc., Nashville, TN
  • NO/AIDS Task Force, New Orleans, LA
  • North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Raleigh, NC
  • North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Inc., Durham, NC
  • OASIS (Okaloosa AIDS Support & Informational Services, Inc.), Ft. Walton Beach, FL
  • SisterLove Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, Columbia, SC
  • Southern AIDS Coalition, Birmingham, AL
  • Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Asheville, NC
  • Women With A Vision, New Orleans, LA