Elton John AIDS Foundation Announces Bold New Funding Initiatives To Combat HIV Epidemics in the U.S. and in Eastern Europe/Central Asia

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced new funding initiatives to increase advocacy and service delivery for people living with and at-risk for HIV and hepatitis C.

In the U.S., EJAF will be launching a new funding initiative to address HIV in Black gay men and transgender individuals, building on our years of experience and support in fighting AIDS in these communities. In Eastern Europe, EJAF will launch the Key Populations Fund for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA KP Fund), focused on prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C for individuals most vulnerable to the HIV epidemic in the region: people who use drugs, sex workers, and gay and bisexual men in the region.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Logo

Elton John AIDS Foundation logo (PRNewsFoto/Elton John AIDS Foundation)

Although Black gay and bisexual men account for one in 500 people living in the U.S., they make up nearly one in four new HIV infections and one in six Americans living with HIV. One in four Black gay and bisexual men are already infected with HIV by the time they reach age 25, and one in two will become HIV-positive in their lifetimes. An estimated overall 21% of transgender individuals are infected with HIV in the U.S. and that number is approximately three times higher among Black transgender people.

Over the past three years, EJAF-US has invested more than $6.6 million in organizations working to change the course of the epidemic in Black communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals. Through this new initiative, EJAF’s goal will be a more intensive focus to support community mobilization to develop programs and advocacy to:

  • Reduce new infection rates through support for innovative community-based programs to increase access to and use of HIV prevention and testing services.
  • Reduce AIDS-related illness and death through support for advocacy and community-based service delivery to improve engagement in health care and earlier access to HIV treatment and care.
  • Confront racism, homophobia, and transphobia as key drivers of HIV infection and disease.

The U.S. program will reach an anticipated 5,000 HIV-positive Black gay men and transgender individuals to learn about their HIV status and get linked to health care, social services, and treatment. Another estimated 10,000 will receive HIV prevention services including access to PrEP. Support for advocacy will seek increased coverage for PrEP through Medicaid and ADAP programs and expansion of state Medicaid programs to provide HIV treatment to thousands of Black gay men and transgender individuals across the U.S. One key aspect of this new initiative will be to engage leadership from Black gay and transgender communities to help set priorities and strategies for this funding and to support community mobilization through the funding process as well as through the grants themselves. This will be the largest private funding initiative specifically supporting Black gay and transgender communities in history.

The EECA KP Fund will address the needs of key populations in the region. Over three years, the Fund will reach an estimated 20,000 people with HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. Mirroring a current Fund that EJAF runs for LGBT populations in countries in Africa where homosexuality is criminalized, the EECA KP Fund will also include a Rapid Response element to address emergencies, including the physical safety of people living with HIV. The EECA Key Populations Fund will also develop “Lighthouse” grants that support HIV and hepatitis C care within the public health system.

Funding for the new initiatives will be supported by EJAF and include financial contributions from Gilead Sciences. Gilead will also provide a donation of hepatitis C products to the EECA Fund to help cure 5,000 patients – a critical contribution in a region where up to 97% of people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C.

Our new funding initiative in the U.S. has the potential to substantially change the course of the HIV epidemic among Black gay men and transgender individuals by supporting the leadership and organizations within those communities,” said Scott Campbell, Executive Director of EJAF-US.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, over 1.5 million people are living with HIV. New HIV infections in the region have increased by over 50% since 2010. People who inject drugs, sex workers, and gay men make up over 96% of those infected. Over 75% of people living with HIV in EECA are not on treatment. Co-infections with hepatitis C are also widespread with an estimated 60 – 97% of people living with HIV who inject drugs co-infected with hepatitis C, depending on the country.

The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, particularly in Russia and Ukraine, remains the fastest growing in the world,” said Anne Aslett, Executive Director of EJAF-UK. “As other donors have withdrawn from the region, EJAF remains committed to supporting people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, and sex workers throughout the region to improve their health and protect their human rights. The EECA KP Fund is the first initiative of its kind. It aims not only to save the lives of thousands of very vulnerable people but to introduce new ways of addressing and scaling up response to the region’s expanding epidemic.”

EJAF Founder Sir Elton John said. “These investments will make a measurable difference at a pivotal moment by connecting people most vulnerable to HIV to the care they need and the compassion they deserve.”

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Art News: The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994

STEPHEN BARKER, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994”

Exhibition dates: September 14 – October 28, 2017

Daniel Cooney Fine Art (508-526 West 26th Street, Suite 9C, New York, NY 10001, 212 255 8158. dan@danielcooneyfineart.com. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 6) is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of photographs, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994“, by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. The exhibit will showcase approximately 15 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists – in the studio and at home – taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) 1991-1994, and Barker’s unique artist’s book Funeral March, which chronicles the carrying of Mark Fisher’s body in an open coffin from Judson Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election in 1992.

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80s working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies. The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all underserved communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have traveled and battles we have won.

Stephen Barker, 'Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,' 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Stephen Barker, ‘Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,’ 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

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Health 101: Planned Parenthood and Black AIDS Institute Announces Program to Expand Comprehensive HIV Prevention Services at Health Centers Across the Country

Planned Parenthood recently announced a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand its comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Gilead Sciences, Inc, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, awarded the $900,000 grant to support and expand efforts of HIV prevention and education, including the integration of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, at Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers across the country over the next 18 months. It is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hardest hit by the epidemic. PrEP is the medical practice of prescribing antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. This is further proof that Planned Parenthood is more than just about legalized abortion services. (But then, most women knew that already.)

Planned Parenthood logo 2

Planned Parenthood logo

Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, compassionate care in health centers across the country, including nearly 700,000 HIV tests each year. Planned Parenthood health centers are uniquely positioned to deliver HIV prevention services and education to disproportionately impacted communities, including Black women, Latinas, transgender people, young adults of all backgrounds, and men who have sex with men, especially people of color.

The grant work will be carried out in partnership with The Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people.Black AIDS Institute logo

Planned Parenthood is thrilled to be launching this incredibly exciting project. Although this country has made progress toward greater health care equity, disparities in HIV rates remain a serious issue for too many people and too many communities,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Rates of new HIV cases, along with barriers to treatment and health care access, continue to more greatly impact marginalized communities. With this grant, Planned Parenthood can implement life-saving awareness and care not otherwise funded at this scale. It furthers our mission to provide all people, especially those already facing barriers to accessing quality health care, with comprehensive and cutting-edge HIV prevention methods, including PrEP“.

The majority of the grant will directly support the efforts of Planned Parenthood affiliates to develop training and resources aimed at delivering a comprehensive program of HIV prevention, including PrEP and other methods, in health centers across the country. It will also go toward the creation of patient education materials to reach populations most at-risk for HIV, as well as capacity-building sustainable learning modules across affiliates.

Despite the life-saving advances in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for treatment and prevention, HIV remains an urgent public health crisis, especially for certain marginalized communities who face barriers to affordable, quality health care. According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveillance report, women of color, particularly Black women, are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for the majority of the HIV infections, women living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths among women in the U.S.

While awareness of antiretroviral medication as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) has risen significantly, women at risk for HIV still face several challenges in getting the services and information they need, including structural and cultural barriers such as poverty, HIV stigma, and a relative lack of access to healthcare professionals trained to offer comprehensive HIV prevention, including PrEP and other methods.

As part of our mission to help people live healthy lives, Planned Parenthood works every day in communities across the country and with partners around the world so that everyone — no matter who they are or where they live — can access accurate, high-quality, compassionate sexual and reproductive health care.

Phill Wilson, Founder of the Black AIDS Instuitute

Phill Wilson, President, and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.

The Black AIDS Institute is proud to partner with Planned Parenthood to expand comprehensive HIV prevention services to Black Women“, Phill Wilson, President, and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “Given the disproportionate impact HIV is having on Black women and the new tools we have at our disposal, this is the right thing to do at the right time.”

Scientific innovation has greatly improved our ability to address the HIV epidemic,” said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs for Gilead Sciences, Inc. Alongside that innovation, diverse programs and partnerships are helping to ensure we can reach those most in need of treatment and prevention options. Prevention strategies, including PrEP and other methods, can have a meaningful impact on public health, offering an unparalleled opportunity to avert new infections and reduce long term costs to the bai_prep_coverhealthcare system.”

Dr. McDonald-Mosley added, “Training and resourcing more medical providers to provide HIV and PrEP education, with a particular focus on prevention in underserved communities, is a job for which Planned Parenthood is uniquely suited. For over 100 years, we’ve been fighting to ensure that people — no matter where they live — can access accurate, nonjudgmental preventive care and education so they can keep themselves and their families healthy.”

Over 40% of people living with HIV in the U.S are Black. Nearly 50% of new HIV infections in this country are Black. and 1 in 32 black women, 1 in 16 black men, and 1 and 2 Black Gay men will be diagnosed with HIV infection in their lifetime. Yet 85% of current PrEP users are white men. What’s wrong with this picture“, says Leisha McKinley Beach, technical assistance consultant, Black AIDS Institute.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Embarks On 8th Annual LifeRide For amfAR

Motorcycle Riding Influencers Ride Through the Midwest to Raise Awareness and Funds to Help Find a Cure for AIDS

Kiehl’s Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve benefits amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. 100% of purchase price from the sale of this product, up to $25,000, will benefit amfAR. The Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is $28.50 at all Kiehl’s retail stores, Kiehls.com and specialty stores nationwide.

Maintaining its long-standing tradition of supporting HIV/AIDS charities, Kiehl’s Since 1851, the 166-year-old purveyor of the finest skincare, is pleased to announce its continued partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the eighth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR.

Inspired by a Kiehl’s icon – the motorcycle – a spirit of adventure and philanthropic heritage, the eighth annual LifeRide continues the brand’s mission to heighten awareness and raise funds for amfAR. This year the multi-city charity ride takes place over 8 days, from July 31-Aug. 7, 2017, beginning in Minneapolis and ending in Nashville.

KiehlsLimitedEditionUSHSforamfAR

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Limited Edition Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Rallying with the public at nine store stops along the route, Kiehl’s will donate a total of $100,000 over the course of the ride. At each stop, the public can meet the riders, social media influencers, learn more about amfAR and contribute to the non-profit. At the conclusion of this year’s ride, Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR will have ridden more than 11,500 miles since 2010 and raised more than $1.7 million, funding nine cure-related research projects.

Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA and Kevin Robert Frost, CEO, amfAR will lead this year’s riders:

  • Ian Bohen, actor, Teen Wolf
  • JR Bourne, actor, Somewhere Between
  • Anthony Carrino, co-host, Kitchen Cousins
  • Gilles Marini, actor, Switched at Birth
  • Grant Reynolds, host/producer, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Luke Wessman, tattoo artist, Miami/NY Ink
  • Tyler Posey, actor, Teen Wolf

Key partners for the ride include Cadillac, Delta Air Lines, and Hedon helmets.

JOIN THE RIDE!

Kiehl’s and amfAR invite all to be a part of the ride: Press and public are welcome at the following stops:

MONDAY, JULY 31—MINNEAPOLIS

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, Mall of America, 8100 24th Ave., Bloomington, MN, 11 AM-12 PM
  • Kiehl’s at Macy’s, Ridgedale Center, 12411 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, MN, 12:30-1:30 PM

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 2—CHICAGOLAND

  • Kiehl’s at Von Maur, Yorktown Center, 145 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL, 1:30-2:30 PM
  • Kiehl’s at Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 4:30-5:30 PM

THURSDAY, AUG. 3—CHICAGOLAND

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL, 11 AM-12 PM

FRIDAY, AUG. 4—INDIANAPOLIS

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Fashion Mall at Keystone, 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN, 12-1 PM

SATURDAY, AUG. 5—LEXINGTON

  • Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, Fayette Mall, 3625 Nicholasville Rd., Lexington, KY, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

MONDAY, AUG. 7—NASHVILLE

  • Kiehl’s at Dillard’s, CoolSprings Galleria, 1796 Galleria Blvd., Franklin, TN, 11AM-12PM

LIFERIDE FINALE!

  • Kiehl’s Since 1851, The Mall at Green Hills, 2126 Abbott Martin Road, Nashville, TN, 12:30-1:30 PM

In celebration, every customer attending one of the events at the Kiehl’s retail stores will receive a 15% discount on all purchases, with the exception of charitable products and value sets. Continue reading

National AIDS Memorial Honors Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for Three Decades of Courageous Leadership in the Fight Against HIV and AIDS

San Francisco’s Congresswoman, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, joined hundreds of volunteers at the National AIDS Memorial for a community volunteer workday to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. Since her first days in Washington D.C., she has been a leader, champion, and hero on the issue of HIV/AIDS and her avid support of the LGBT community.

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(L-R) John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial, joins Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as she presents a special certificate of recognition to the National AIDS Memorial gardener Ali McCarthy at the National AIDS Memorial, San Francisco, Calif.(Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

During the morning activities, Congresswoman Pelosi joined volunteers as they planted flowers, new shrubs, and a tree, in addition to helping maintain the grounds of the Nation’s AIDS Memorial. The event also marked a significant milestone for the National AIDS Memorial as it has surpassed 200,000 hours given by community volunteers to create and maintain the 10-acre living memorial.

For the past thirty years, Congresswoman Pelosi has worked courageously to advance the issue of HIV/AIDS, supporting major funding, research, and programs that have been critically important to the advancements and improvement of the quality of life for those living with the disease. In 1996 she successfully spearheaded the passage of legislation that was signed by President Bill Clinton designating San Francisco’s AIDS Memorial Grove, as a National Memorial.

image005Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and long-time volunteer Tom Jensen plant a new magnolia tree near the main entrance of the National AIDS Memorial on Bowling Green Drive, San Francisco, Calif., to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. (Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

Thirty years ago our community was ravaged by AIDS and with the leadership of Congresswoman Pelosi we came together here in this grove to heal and remember our lost friends and loved ones,” said John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial. “Her courage to stand-up and fight for our community paved the way for this memorial. Without her leadership, is memorial would not be possible. We are forever grateful for her tireless spirit, love and willingness to fight for our cause.

Congresswoman Pelosi has faithfully commemorated her milestone years in Congress by volunteering at the Grove. She has volunteered on many other occasions over the years, often bringing her family and grandchildren to be a regular part of the Grove’s Community Volunteer Workdays.

Since the first Workday in 1991, nearly 40,000 volunteers have participated in more than 300 Community Volunteer Workdays, donating more than 200,000 volunteer hours and planting more than 10,000 trees, plants and shrubs.

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San Francisco Board of Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, California State Assembly Member David Chiu, California State Senator Scott Wiener join Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at the NationalAIDS Memorial, San Francisco Calif., for a community workday to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. Also included –Mike Shriver, Chair, National AIDS Memorial, John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial. (Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

The National AIDS Memorial is not just a place for where we come and remember those we’ve lost, it is a place where people from around the country, around the world, can come together to remember their lives, to hope and continue working tirelessly until we find a cure,” said Congresswoman Pelosi. “This sacred ground honors all who have been touched by HIV/AIDS but more importantly, it forever keeps their spirit, their love and their stories with us and so future generations never forget. This grove inspires us to keep fighting in their memory and for what’s right.”

For more information visit www.aidsmemorial.org, follow on Facebook @NationalAIDSMemorial or @AIDS_Memorial on Twitter.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Receives $10,000 Grant From The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in Partnership with Macy’s

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a grant for $10,000 from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in partnership with Macy’s to fund an HIV prevention program tailored for LGBT youth. The grant will be used by the Center’s Sexual Health and Education Program, which provides cutting-edge HIV prevention care that includes rapid HIV antibody testing, ultra-sensitive PCR/DNA HIV testing, comprehensive Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and STI treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and more.

the-los-angeles-lgbt-center

The Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Center is honored to be recognized by ETAF for its unique work in the community. Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. The organization is an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society.

the-elizabeth-taylor-aids-foundation-etaf-logo

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) logo

The late Dame Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, especially the most marginalized communities. Today, ETAF also provides grants for innovative HIV prevention education and advocacy programs to existing organizations around the world. With aagrd8rrkey domestic advocacy funding focuses on comprehensive sexual health education and HIV criminalization reform, ETAF continues to bring the marginalized to the center of attention and advocate for their rights. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has granted to more than 675 organizations in 44 countries and nearly all 50 states in the U.S.

The work that the Los Angeles LGBT Center does to help people affected by HIV/AIDS is impressive and very much aligned with Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate commitment to the cause,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF and our partners at Macy’s are thrilled to present the Los Angeles LGBT Center with these funds to help further our shared mission.”macys-logo

Through their Cause Marketing Program, Macy’s recognizes their responsibility to the community and their concern for the needs of their neighbors. They are proud to partner with ETAF and have contributed to this grant.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Announces National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2017, February 7

African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States. Gay and bisexual men account for more than half of estimated new HIV diagnoses among African Americans. The number of HIV diagnoses among African American women has declined, though it is still high compared to women of other races/ethnicities.nbhaad-social-images-instagram

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). The theme for NBHAAD, I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS, emphasizes the role that everyone can play in HIV prevention.

Coordinated by the Strategic Leadership Council, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7 to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities.nhbaad-get-educated-640x640

Compared to other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, blacks/African Americans* have a disproportionate burden of HIV and AIDS. While blacks represent approximately 12% of the US population, they account for more new HIV diagnoses (44%) and people living with HIV (41%) than any other racial/ethnic group. Among all blacks, black gay and bisexual men account for the majority of new infections. Young black gay and bisexual men are especially affected.nhbaad-get-involved-640x640

HIV and AIDS Diagnoses b

  • In 2014, 44% (19,540) of estimated new HIV diagnoses in the United States were among African Americans, who comprise 12% of the US population.
  • Among all African Americans diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 73% (14,305) were men and 26% (5,128) were women.
  • Among all African Americans diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 57% (11,201) were gay or bisexual men.c Of those gay and bisexual men, 39% (4,321) were young men aged 13 to 24.
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among African American women fell 42%, though it is still high compared to women of other races/ethnicities. In 2014, an estimated 1,350 Hispanic/Latino women and 1,483 white women were diagnosed with HIV, compared to 5,128 African American women.nhbaad-get-tested-640x640
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men increased 22%. But that number stabilized in recent years, increasing less than 1% since 2010.
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among young African American gay and bisexual men (aged 13 to 24) increased 87%. But that trend has leveled off recently, with the number declining 2% since 2010.
  • In 2014, an estimated 48% (10,045) of those diagnosed with AIDS in the United States were African Americans. By the end of 2014, 42% (504,354) of those ever diagnosed with AIDS were African Americans.nhbaad-get-treated-640x640

Living With HIV and Deaths Continue reading