Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) Coalition, and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work announced 40 organizations that will receive a total of $2,309,592 to combat the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the South and support people living with HIV. The three organizations are the Coordinating Centers of Gilead Sciences’ COMPASS Initiative (COMPASS), which identified grantees engaged in community-driven solutions that are improving the health and well-being of those impacted by HIV in the South.
“The data shows a need for increased financial investment in Southern-based organizations. These resources are vital to saving lives,” said Ms. Neena Smith-Bankhead, director of capacity building & community engagement at the Rollins School of Public Health. “Together, we can find, grow, and strengthen the capacity of organizations that are able to combat HIV in the Southern United States.”
Despite being home to only 38 percent of the country’s population, Southern states experienced 52 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Due to social and structural disparities in the South—including poverty, housing stability, and food security — the epidemic represents a complex challenge that requires a variety of community-based solutions. COMPASS invests in community organizations that build awareness, reduce stigma, advance education, share knowledge, and promote the well-being of individuals impacted by HIV.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on December 13