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These HIV Groups Are Leading the Way

Leading the Way

Ten HIV organizations get funding to empower poz leaders.

AIDS United’s Positive Organizing Project, supported financially by Gilead Sciences, has awarded grants to 10 community-based organizations to help end stigma and discrimination while building leadership among people living with HIV.

“Meaningful involvement of people living with HIV is critical at national, local, and organizational levels,” AIDS United president Jesse Milan, Jr. told reporters.

Pointing to the HIV activist rallying motto, “Nothing about us without us,” Milan said his organization is proud to support the development of other poz leaders. “As a person living with HIV, I’m proud that these grantees are promoting leadership for our people to help achieve our national and community goals for HIV.”

These 10 organizations are addressing HIV criminalization, empowering women, engaging storytelling as advocacy, and otherwise harnessing the HIV-positive community’s power to improve the lives of other people living with HIV. The organizations getting funding are spread across the country — from urban centers like Harlem and Los Angeles, to rural areas in states such as Idaho, Alabama, Georgia, and Hawaii. (View the complete list on

“Working at the grassroots level to build supportive communities is critical to allowing people living with HIV to live well,” said Gregg H. Alton, executive vice president for corporate and medical affairs at Gilead Sciences, in a written statement. “That’s why Gilead is committed to supporting this work.”

This is the fourth round of single-year grants given through the Positive Organizing Project (POP), which has reached more than 200,000 people living with HIV since
it started.

“The Positive Organizing Project has grown tremendously in the past four years,” Valerie Rochester, V.P. of program strategy, AIDS United, tells Plus. “We are very proud of the impact this initiative has had. The first year had three sites and a total of $110,000 in grant support, and currently we have 10 sites and $300,000 in grants. In total, POP has granted $860,000 to the community, funding 39 organizations across the country to support leadership development programs led by and for people living with HIV.”

“People living with HIV are the experts in our lives and we must be developed, empowered, and included as leaders for addressing HIV policies and programs wherever we live,” said Milan. “The Positive Organizing Project continues this legacy by developing leaders in every corner of the country.”

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