Awarding of grants marks first milestone in the rollout of the Positive Charge initiative to help break down barriers to care for people living with HIV/AIDS
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National AIDS Fund (NAF) announced today the awarding of major grants that will enable more than 35 community-based organizations to help improve access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS in five regions of the United States – Chicago, Ill., New York, N.Y., Oakland / San Francisco, Calif., and the states of North Carolina and Louisiana. The grant awards provide an opportunity for geographically and culturally diverse organizations within a region to combine their expertise in the development of community-driven solutions to help enable greater access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment. The community grants were made possible through a separate grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) to NAF.
Later today, Anthony C. Hooper, president, U.S., Japan, and Intercontinental, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Kandy Ferree, president and CEO, National AIDS Fund, along with two of the new grantees, will participate in a panel discussion at the White House on the role of public-private partnerships in the three-pillared National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), and will discuss how this important collaboration addresses the NHAS pillar “to increase access to care and optimize health outcomes.”
In the United States, Bristol-Myers Squibb estimates that there are 640,000* people with HIV who are not receiving HIV treatment. Recognizing that there are personal, societal and structural barriers that may prevent people from accessing care, NAF and Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into an unprecedented collaboration, which combines both financial resources and technical expertise to reach communities and to help facilitate changes to enhance access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). This collaboration is one of the key components of Positive Charge, a Bristol-Myers Squibb initiative launched in December 2009 to help break down the barriers that prevent PLWHA from receiving HIV care, appropriate treatment and necessary support.
“We are deeply honored to have been invited to the White House today with Bristol-Myers Squibb to participate in this important dialogue on the critical role public-private partnerships, like our collaboration on Positive Charge, will play in the forthcoming National HIV/AIDS Strategy,” said Ferree. “Many people are under the impression that HIV/AIDS is no longer an issue in the United States. However, with thousands of people in our country living with HIV not linked to care, we, as business and philanthropic leaders, have an obligation to help remove the barriers they face so they can access the HIV-specific care they need.”
“We know this work is complex, but we need to work together to break down the barriers to HIV care for people living with HIV and AIDS,” said Hooper. “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to developing innovative medicines to meet the unmet medical needs of people living with HIV and AIDS, but we know that medicines alone cannot solve the problem. We have to work together to help break down the personal, societal and structural barriers that prevent people from accessing medically appropriate care. We need organizations like the National AIDS Fund and their grantees to engage communities to design programs to meet their specific needs. Our hope is that Positive Charge can deliver meaningful contributions that will inspire others to implement similar programs and truly impact the course of the HIV epidemic in this country.”
The five major Positive Charge grants from NAF benefit geographically diverse communities that span the major epicenters of the epidemic as well as emerging areas of significant impact. Participating organizations include:
“Thanks to the innovative partnership between National AIDS Fund and Bristol-Myers Squibb on Positive Charge, community-based agencies from both Oakland and San Francisco will now have the resources to join together for the first time to form the Bay Area Network for Positive Health (BANPH),” said Cynthia A. Gómez, PhD, director of the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University. “BANPH is an unprecedented coordination of outreach and support activities by agencies serving the Bay Area’s most underserved populations. We believe combining our strengths will help us all to not only link our target populations to essential HIV care, but to better understand why they weren’t in care to begin with.”
About the Positive Charge Grants
Following Bristol-Myers Squibb’s national survey on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and considering the areas around the country that are most affected by the disease, 13 regions, including some that are part of the NAF’s extensive Community Partnership network, were identified by NAF as geographic areas of interest to be considered for Positive Charge grants.
A diverse national review committee convened by NAF and comprised of community experts, evaluators, technical assistance experts, PLWHA, clinicians, a representative from NAF, and a representative from Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Corporate Philanthropy group reviewed applications, conducted site visits and recommended five regions for grant awards. The collaborative approaches and specific interventions proposed by the final grantees combine innovation and evidence-based work to effectively reach specific populations hit hardest by the epidemic, including communities of color, men who have sex with men (MSM), individuals in rural areas of the South, and women living with HIV.
Bristol-Myers Squibb was not involved in the distribution of funding by NAF.
About Positive Charge
Positive Charge is a comprehensive U.S.-based initiative from Bristol-Myers Squibb built on three key pillars: enabling PLWHA to access care and treatment, contributing to the scientific agenda, and demonstrating advocacy leadership.
Positive Charge is designed to support programs customized to help meet the unique needs of individuals living with HIV, and is dedicated to working with health care providers, community members, advocates, caregivers and families of PLWHA in order to help assist them in overcoming the barriers that may be preventing them from getting the HIV care, treatment and support they need.
Positive Charge is also designed to make meaningful contributions to scientific exchange as well as advocacy dialogues at the state and local level to the benefit of PLWHA.
About the National AIDS Fund
The National AIDS Fund is one of the leading philanthropic organizations committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. The National AIDS Fund exists to leverage resources, develop leadership and advocacy, and foster community innovation to prevent new HIV infections and care for people living with HIV/AIDS.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com.
* Based on Bristol-Myers Squibb Market Research Estimate, June 2009
Cristi Barnett, 609-252-6028
John Elicker, 609-252-4611
National AIDS Fund
Rob Banaszak, 202-408-4848, x 214
KEYWORDS: United States North America District of Columbia
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Women Health AIDS Pharmaceutical Philanthropy Consumer Foundation Fund Raising Men