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New HIV Battle in the South

New HIV Battle in the South


Two major foundations are working together to fight HIV and AIDS in the American South. 

The Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation have joined forces — and funds — to award more than $300,000 in grants to local HIV groups below the Mason-Dixon line. The grants will help fund six groups: LGBT centers in Virginia and Alabama, programs dedicated to addressing HIV among young black men in Georgia and Mississippi, a program for gay and bisexual men in rural Oklahoma, and an Atlanta organization that helps transgender people of color and seeks to end policies that criminalize HIV. The goal of the grant partnership is to help provide HIV services like testing, education, and treatment in one of the most underserved but hardest-hit areas of the country, particularly to at-risk groups. “Because of poor access to HIV testing and health care, many people living with HIV in the U.S. South enter into treatment when their HIV disease is much more advanced,” says David Furnish, chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, “and [they] find it difficult to remain on treatment. As a result, the U.S. South has the lowest rates of successful HIV treatment in the country. This is particularly true for LGBTQ individuals and black Americans living in the Southern states. We are therefore profoundly grateful to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for joining with us to fund the innovative work of these grantees.”

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Daniel Reynolds