AIDS United in Washington, D.C., has announced grants totaling $1 million to seven organizations working to help people who are HIV-positive stay in care and on treatment.
The grants were awarded as part of the MAC AIDS Fund's Retention in Care Initiative, a multiyear program which seeks to address social and structural barriers that lead people with HIV/AIDS to drop out of care. Grant recipients include AIDS Alabama in Birmingham, which was awarded a grant for its efforts to increase retention among impoverished rural and urban African-American men and women in the state. Studies have found that underserved populations, especially those living in poverty, have a higher risk of dropping out of care than other groups.
The organization also awarded grants to the University of Virginia in support of a program that uses a smart-phone app and virtual community to retain individuals in rural parts of Virginia; Open Door in Pittsburgh in support of a harm-reduction housing model for substance-abusing HIV-positive individuals; and the CitiWide Harm Reduction program in New York City for retention efforts targeting homeless and substance-using individuals in the Bronx.
"At this pivotal time in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the U.S., the MAC AIDS Fund's Retention in Care Initiative with AIDS United presents us with a unique opportunity to make a meaningful difference for the people who need it most," said Nancy Mahon, global executive director of the MAC AIDS Fund. "By supporting community-specific strategies to keep people in care, the Retention in Care Initiative helps advance two pillars of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: optimizing health outcomes for [people living with HIV/AIDS] and reducing new infections. By supporting programs that deal directly with the most marginalized, underserved people who are at the highest risk of infection, this partnership exemplifies our mission at the MAC AIDS Fund."