EJAF December 2008 Grants
These grants represent EJAF’s continuing commitment to funding demographics and geographic regions that are being seriously impacted by HIV/AIDS. Two significant grants to the MSM Initiative at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and to the Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness focus urgently needed funding to underserved communities and populations in Latin America, EJAF’s newest targeted region.
EJAF’s Executive Director Scott Campbell stated, “It is estimated that 1.6 million people are living with HIV in Latin America. In 2007 alone, more than 100,000 people in Latin America became newly HIV-infected, and underserved and stigmatized populations, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and injection drug users, are particularly at risk. During the past year, EJAF has stepped forward to increase grant-making for HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy in Latin America, targeting these specific populations, as well as other affected communities.”
A third major grant to the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prisons Project is a continuation of EJAF’s commitment to addressing the HIV prevention and care needs of incarcerated individuals, people newly released from prison, and affected communities. According to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, “With the generous support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the ACLU’s efforts to advocate for fair treatment of prisoners living with HIV will re-double. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of EJAF and its dedication to improving conditions for this most vulnerable and often forgotten population, we will continue our critical work of challenging discriminatory policies and inadequate medical care in prisons throughout the country.”
This grant cycle also includes $263,200 in smaller discretionary awards varying from $10,000 – $40,000 to community-based HIV prevention, care and service programs focused on youth and sexual health, incarcerated populations, African Americans, men who have sex with men, drug users, and improving access to treatment and care. Mr. Campbell noted, “During these uncertain financial times, all of us at EJAF are particularly pleased to be able to continue to offer support to organizations serving populations most affected by HIV/AIDS.”
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York, NY, $150,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for amfAR’s MSM Initiative in Latin America, a worldwide project launched in 2007 to support grassroots efforts to combat HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM). Continued funding is requested to make grants to community-based organizations working with this population, as well as to support amfAR’s advocacy efforts in this region, where MSM are stigmatized, and their behavior is often deemed criminal. In Latin America, the MSM Initiative currently supports 10 projects in eight countries.
Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness, New York, NY, $275,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the Collaborative Fund’s grant-making and regional coordination activities in Latin America. Grants to community based organizations will support activities that focus on improved HIV care quality and access for marginalized populations such as drug users and MSM, as well as empowerment of people living with HIV/AIDS for treatment adherence and targeted technical assistance opportunities for grantees.
American Civil Liberties Union, National Prisons Project, Washington, DC, $125,000
Since 1972, the National Prison Project has represented hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in U.S. prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, and immigration detention centers. In addition to litigation, NPP leads public education campaigns that seek an end to discrimination against persons with HIV. This grant provides renewed funding for NPP to continue its campaign to provide prisoners and detainees with HIV equal access to rehabilitative and work programs, housing, and medical care. NPP will: continue advocacy in Alabama and Nevada, challenging discriminatory policies that prevent prisoners from taking part in prison and work release programs, and expand efforts to South Carolina; continue to litigate against inadequate medical care for prisoners and detainees with HIV in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, California, Arizona, and Maryland; and expand its work regarding inadequate HIV care to include the federal death row in Indiana.
Bailey House, New York, NY, $20,000
This renewal grant will support Project FIRST, a program that provides housing, access to health care, and supportive services to HIV positive men and women recently released from prison. These services are designed to help individuals return to their communities, find a permanent home, and receive the care needed to remain healthy. Additional services include HIV/AIDS counseling, assistance with daily living skills, accessing benefits, advocacy, socialization, and referrals to educational and vocational training. Project FIRST clients are low-income, many with substance abuse and/or mental health issues. They are predominately African-American and Latino, with significant language barriers. Since 2003, Project FIRST clients have maintained a recidivism rate of less than 10%, significantly less than the national average which is over 40%.
Brotherhood Sister Sol, New York, NY, $10,000
Brotherhood Sister Sol serves 250 Latino/a, Black and multiracial youth from in and around Harlem. Most live in single parent households, many receive public assistance and Spanish is the main language spoken in a third of their homes. Without caring consistent guidance, these youth are vulnerable to making self-destructive decisions leading to teen pregnancy, STDs, school failure, drug use, criminal acts, and joblessness as seen in the unacceptably high incidence of HIV/AIDS, violence, death, low educational performance and high unemployment in their communities. BHSS’ sexual health programming focuses on the integration of activities related to three of its curriculum focus issues: (1) sexual health and responsibility, (2) sexism and misogyny, and (3) conflict resolution and bias reduction.
Community AIDS Resource, Miami, FL, $25,000
This grant will support the organization’s Youth Health Intervention Project (YHIP), which seeks to reduce new HIV infections among young men who have sex with men (MSM) and increase enrollment of HIV positive and high-risk negative MSM in appropriate medical care and treatment, and other support services in Broward County, FL. The YHIP project works to achieve its purpose through focused outreach providing culturally competent prevention messages to young MSM. Peer educators conduct mobile, focused outreach targeting young MSM in designated areas and engaging individuals in conversation about HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and substance use risks; distributing educational materials, safe sex kits and inviting individuals to be screened for HIV. Individuals who chose to be tested receive pre and post-testing counseling and referral to services. The annual goals for the project are to facilitate 3,000 street level interventions and 1,600 HIV tests to the target population.
Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project, New York, NY, $40,000
This grant will support the organization’s Project UNSHACKLE, which develops collaborative grassroots campaigns with local partners to: 1) Ensure that people in prison have the information, tools and support to protect themselves from HIV; 2) Reduce the number of people in prison; 3) Eliminate barriers to services, health care and self-determination upon release; and 4) Rebuild strong communities that have become fractured by incarceration. Project UNSHACKLE will collaborate with community-based organizations around the U.S. that work with prisoners and advocate for just prison policies to confront HIV issues as part of that work. UNSHACKLE will also assist HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy organizations to incorporate prison issues in their work. UNSHACKLE is currently engaged in New York, New Orleans, and Philadelphia.
Desert AIDS Project, Palm Springs, CA, $26,200
This grant will help the Desert AIDS Project to implement “I-Connect,” an internet-based outreach program targeting men who have sex with men (MSM). Since the internet is commonly used by MSM as a mechanism for finding sex partners, DAP proposes to use the internet to disseminate information on safer sex practices, testing and counseling. A software program, “Power On,” will allow outreach workers to interact at various websites frequented by MSM where they will offer HIV/AIDS and safer sex information, and resources for testing treatment, mental health and substance abuse counseling. Power On’s unique features will enable DAP staff to be on multiple sites at once, ensure the anonymity of clients, and to track and evaluate this intervention’s impact. DAP’s objective is to reach 3,000 MSMs in the first year of Project I-Connect’s implementation.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis, New York, NY, $40,000
This renewal grant will support GMHC’s HIV outreach and prevention services for young men who have sex with men (YMSM), particularly those of color, in New York City. According to most studies, this population represents one of the demographic groups most at risk of HIV infection. Indeed, a recent survey found that in New York City, HIV prevalence among young Black MSM was18.4 per cent and among young Latino MSM 8.8 per cent. Through this outreach program, consisting of social marketing campaigns, internet interventions, group discussions and workshops, and testing events, GMHC will identify YMSM who may be unaware of their HIV status. This outreach presents an opportunity to intervene in the lives of those at risk of infection, and to connect them to the care and support they need to address and reduce their risk factors.
Harlem United Community AIDS Center, New York, NY, $25,000
This grant will support the organization’s The Blocks Project (Blocks), a neighborhood-based HIV prevention program in Central and East Harlem. Because Harlem has a high HIV prevalence rate, Blocks is based on the premise that Harlem residents are at risk because of where they live, not because of who they are (men who have sex with men, drug users, etc). By going block-by-block, door-by-door in targeted East and Central Harlem housing projects, this programs aims to reduce HIV testing stigma, increase the number of residents who know their HIV status, and break the cycle of HIV/AIDS transmission. The Blocks Project has three core components (1) Community saturation with relevant and targeted HIV prevention facts and messages to remove HIV testing stigma; (2) Block-by-block, door-to-door, comprehensive personal risk assessments to prompt testing; and (3) Accessible, on-the-spot HIV and STD testing with referral and linkage to care. In the target locations, AIDS is the second leading cause of death after heart disease.
Le Maison du Parc, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, $12,000
Le Maison du Parc is an AIDS Hospice in Montreal, Canada. This grant will pay for prescription and non-prescription drugs required by its 12 full-time residents. Le Maison du Parc is one of only two AIDS hospices in Quebec that offers services to individuals who are in need of palliative care.
Metropolitan Community Church, Abilene, TX, $25,000
This grant will support MCC’s “Deconstructing Meth/Deconstructing Me,” a workshop developed by an HIV positive member of the church who was addicted to crystal methamphetamine. As a part of its Uncommon Hope Global HIV/AIDS Ministry, this MCC workshop is designed for active drug users, people in recovery, social service providers, family members and allies to address the complexity of meth and sero-conversion in the context of harm reduction and de-stigmatization of use. This grant will allow MCC to produce the workshop in a DVD “train the trainer” format for broad dissemination in local service agencies, churches and local organizations for use. The DVD will be distributed at no charge to people who complete a 30-minute orientation on-line with an MCC trainer and who agree to report results of their work. MCC pursues a social as well as spiritual mission by advocating for the rights of minorities, particularly those of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, CA, $40,000
This grant will help SFAF to expand the acute HIV infection diagnosis infrastructure – including rapid HIV antibody testing, HIV RNA testing, and electronic data collection – at Magnet, a sexual testing and services clinic for gay men in San Francisco’s Castro District. This expansion would enhance Magnet’s intervention ability as it continues its efforts to decrease HIV incidence in the Castro, the neighborhood with the highest concentration of HIV infections in San Francisco. Activities during the grant period will include: (1) enhanced counseling messages for high-risk clients to heighten awareness of Magnet’s HIV testing services; 2) institution of a “fast-track” system to offer same- or next-day appointments for clients who may be experiencing acute infection; 3) the purchase and programming of additional electronic intake devices and on-line client registration software, and; 4) providing HIV testing for partners of clients receiving a positive diagnosis, as well as for partners of clients enrolled in Magnet’s RNA testing program. In 2007, Magnet administered more than 20,000 HIV and STI tests and vaccinations, and now Magnet serves more than 7,000 customers annually.
EJAF September 2008 Grants
These grants represent EJAF’s continuing commitment to funding demographics and geographic regions that are being seriously impacted by HIV/AIDS, including: critically under-funded communities of the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; highly marginalized populations such as injection drug users and men who have sex with men (MSM); and underserved populations such as African Americans and young people. The cycle also includes $195,000 in smaller discretionary grants varying from $20,000 – 50,000 to community-based HIV prevention, care and service programs.
EJAF funding totaling $1.367 million will renew and enhance the Foundation’s significant commitment to a broad spectrum of projects addressing HIV/AIDS at community, national, and regional levels in the Caribbean, where rates of HIV infection rank second only to sub-Saharan Africa. One of the EJAF-funded organizations providing urgently needed treatment services in the Caribbean is the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI). Upon receiving the EJAF renewal award, President Bill Clinton stated, “Growing inequality in access to treatment between developed and developing countries is claiming lives and undermining social and economic stability in many regions of the world. Recognizing the need to address these inequalities, I launched the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) in 2002. It is thanks to partnerships with organizations like the Elton John AIDS Foundation that today 1.4 million people are benefiting from medicines purchased under CHAI agreements.”
“Elton John and his Foundation have been instrumental in the efforts to prevent and eliminate prejudice against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals in the United States. Together we will continue to enhance our nation’s commendable global leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as renew the battle against the pandemic here at home,” President Clinton added.
EJAF’s newest grant cycle also continues the Foundation’s significant history of investments in domestic HIV prevention and service programs. According to new data released in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 56,300 Americans became infected with HIV during 2006, a 40% increase over the 40,000 annual number used over the past decade. In addition, the CDC reported that 53% of these new HIV infections were among MSM, more than a third of whom were younger than 30, and 49% were among African Americans, although they comprised only 13% of the overall population. Indeed, the Black AIDS Institute, which received a renewal grant in this awards cycle, released a report on AIDS in Black America at the recent International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, noting that if Black America were to be considered an independent nation, it would rank below 104 other countries in life expectancy as a result. In addition, an article in the August 28, 2008, edition of the New York Times noted that HIV is spreading at three times the national rate in New York City, citing the disproportionate impact of HIV on black New Yorkers, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users.
EJAF’s Founder and Chairman Sir Elton John stated, “For the past two years, most of the grants EJAF has funded target these specific populations, such as the grants awarded to the Black AIDS Institute, the Syringe Access Fund, and amfAR, among others. Clearly, EJAF’s strategic approach to grant-making continues to respond adroitly as both the domestic and global AIDS epidemics evolve, investing donor dollars where they are most needed and will have the greatest impact.”
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York, NY, $150,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for amfAR’s MSM Initiative in the Caribbean, a project launched in 2007 to support grassroots efforts to combat HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM). Continued funding is requested to make grants to community based organizations working with this population, as well as to support amfAR’s advocacy efforts in this region, where MSM are stigmatized, and their behavior is often deemed criminal.
Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS, Christchurch, Barbados, $425,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s core support of this project (as one of the organization’s three funding partners), and additional funding will support the expansion of CBMP into Haiti. CBMP is now a registered local charity in Bridgetown, Barbados with an independent Board of Trustees, and staff of three full-time Caribbean professionals providing day-to-day management. Proposed activities for the next year include the continuing engagement and training of media partners; the strengthening of partnerships, which in the past year have led to national HIV testing days in eight countries and the development of a text message campaign which allows users to access information about HIV; and an increased commitment to programming in Haiti, the country most affected by HIV in the Western Hemisphere and the one that presents the most challenges for the delivery of these programs. EJAF has supported CBMP through its first two years of operations, and EJAF Executive Director Scott Campbell is a member of its Board of Trustees.
Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, New York, NY, $442,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the Clinton Foundation to continue and enhance its work in five Caribbean countries: Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Important activities to be pursued include the expansion of HIV/AIDS services to both new and existing health clinics; strengthening programs that address mother to child transmission of HIV; assisting governments in effectively managing the supply of HIV/AIDS medications and related commodities, and improving the quality of care for children living with HIV/AIDS. The increased funding provided by this grant reflects the elevation of work in the four countries previously supported by EJAF, as well as expansion of support to Jamaica.
Collaborative Fund for HIV Treatment Preparedness, New York, NY, $350,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the Collaborative Fund’s grant-making and regional coordination activities in the Caribbean. Grants to community based organizations will support activities that focus on improved HIV care quality and access for marginalized populations such as drug users and MSM, as well as empowerment of people living with HIV/AIDS for treatment adherence and targeted technical assistance opportunities for grantees. EJAF has supported the Collaborative Fund’s work in the Caribbean for the past two years.
Aid for AIDS, New York, NY, $250,000
This grant will support ¿Cuanto Sabes de VIH y SIDA? (How Much Do You Know about HIV and AIDS?), an HIV primary-prevention effort based on a peer-as-educator model, where youths are trained to teach their peers safe healthcare behaviors. Aid for AIDS will expand the reach of this project into new regions in the following countries: Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, Honduras, Panama and Ecuador and will roll out Cuanto Sabes in 600 schools to reach approximately 1.2 million students.
Advocates for Youth, Washington, DC, $200,000
This grant will serve as renewal of EJAF’s support for Advocates for Youth’s multifaceted programs addressing youth and sexual health issues. EJAF funding will support several efforts. (1) Advocates for Youth’ advocacy efforts that attempt to affect policy change regarding sexual health education for adolescents. This advocacy work is enacted by a growing network of youth activists. (2) The Great American Condom Campaign, an initiative that will distribute 900,000 condoms at college campuses this year, and work with college activists to increase condom availability and awareness about safe sexual practices. (3) Advocates Anti-Homophobia / Transphobia Initiative will increase the capacity of youth serving organizations to reach gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered youth, a vulnerable group that is ignored by many sexual existing health interventions. EJAF has supported Advocates for Youth for the past two years.
Black AIDS Institute, Los Angeles, CA, $200,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the Black AIDS Mobilization Campaign, which was launched last year to galvanize Black organizations to commit resources to addressing HIV/AIDS, which has become a significant crisis in the Black Community. In its first year, the Mobilization engaged sixteen Black organizations, all of which subsequently developed action plans for making HIV/AIDS a priority. In year two of the campaign, these organizations will be enacting these plans with the support of the Black AIDS Institute. Examples of activities to be undertaken by Mobilization partners include: Urban Radio Networks, which will promote HIV testing on its radio stations, and the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which will distribute HIV related content through more than 200 Black newspapers. The significant momentum achieved in its first year warrants an increase in funding in 2008.
National AIDS Fund (NAF) Southern U.S. Initiative, Washington, DC, $500,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for NAF’s work in the American South, a region of the country that is being significantly affected by HIV/AIDS. NAF currently has two programs operating in the South: the expansion of its Community Partnership network, and Southern REACH, an initiative providing resources to community based organizations (that may not be AIDS service organizations) to build their capacities to address HIV/AIDS, and to support advocacy efforts in the South. The grant will support the continued development of nascent Community Partnerships in Alabama and Louisiana, the launch of a Community Partnership in North Carolina, and the preliminary work for expansion into Mississippi, Arkansas and South Carolina. Through Southern REACH, NAF anticipates awarding 25-30 grants, prioritizing resources for community based organizations with demonstrated ability to deliver HIV/AIDS prevention and care services or lead policy advocacy efforts. EJAF has supported NAF’s work in the South for the past two years.
Syringe Access Fund, New York, NY, $400,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for The Syringe Access Fund, as a principal member of this funding collaborative. The Syringe Access Fund awards grants to community based organizations engaged in direct service programs that expand access to clean syringes and to advance advocacy efforts directed at local and state level policy change. With requested support from EJAF for its fifth round of grant-making, it is estimated that 15 – 40 projects would be funded, with awards ranging in size from $25,000 to $100,000. Grants will focus on the capacity building of larger organizations; grants for smaller and developing projects will support the procurement of equipment, training, and transportation costs; and state and local policy efforts. EJAF has been a funding partner of the Syringe Access Fund for the past two years.
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, New York, NY, $50,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for UNICEF’s work addressing vertical transmission (mother to child transmission) of HIV in Guatemala. Last year, this program led to the testing of 11,700 pregnant women. Those who test positive for HIV receive anti-retroviral treatment to prevent transmission to their children, and continued access to anti-retroviral drugs after giving birth. EJAF’s funding will support the purchase of supplies for testing, technical assistance and training for health care providers, and medication for women and their children that test positive.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, New York, NY, $50,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the National Syringe Exchange Survey, conducted annually by Dr. Don Des Jarlais at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. This study tracks and evaluates syringe exchange programs in the U.S. The data from this survey continues to be a powerful tool for advocates of syringe exchange as proven means of decreasing new HIV infections, and this year a significant legislative victory was achieved in Washington, DC as a federal ban on the use of local funds for syringe exchange was lifted. This advocacy is a vital complement to EJAF’s support of organizations directly engaged in syringe exchange programs. EJAF has supported the National Syringe Exchange Survey for the past two years.
AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, IL, $25,000
This grant will support the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates (IRMA), a coalition of scientists, advocates, and policy makers promoting the research and development of safe and effective rectal microbicides for men and women. Over the last two years, IRMA has affected significant achievements in this field, including the publication of the first ever report evaluating microbicide research and funding. IRMA’s long term objectives are to significantly increase and diversify funding for microbicide research, and to accelerate research by engaging new scientists in this field.
Ms. Foundation for Women, New York, NY, $50,000
This grant will serve as a renewal of EJAF’s support for the Ms. Foundation’s National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC). Over the past year, NWAC has been working to reform current Center for Disease Control (CDC) surveillance policies that are used to gather information about HIV transmission. NWAC specifically believes that current CDC surveillance is misrepresenting the impact of HIV on women in the U.S. and is not thoroughly tracking factors that make women uniquely vulnerable to transmission. CDC data collection is critical because it affects the allocation of federal funding and resources, the identification of trends and at risk groups, and helps inform the development of interventions. Over the next year, NWAC will pursue this advocacy agenda by conducting necessary research, conducting local level advocacy, and identifying a city in which to conduct model HIV testing and surveillance.
Treatment Action Group, New York, NY, $20,000
This grant will support the treatment advocacy work of the Treatment Action Group (TAG). TAG’s mission is to ensure that all people with HIV receive life saving treatment, care and information. As a respected, independent agency TAG seeks to catalyze progress in research, treatment, community education and empowerment, and universal access, by pursuing alliances with scientists, policymakers, and AIDS activist coalitions in the U.S. and around the world to speed up discovery and development of effective drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for HIV. An example of TAG’s work is its antiretroviral project, which monitors the development of HIV antiretroviral drugs, advocates for the expeditious development and clinical research of these drugs, and then educates the HIV community about the newest developments in treatments and therapies.