New Elton John AIDS Foundation grants challenge HIV criminalization laws, address the needs of vulnerable homeless youth, and increase access to clean needles for injection drug users.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a leader in the global effort to end AIDS, today announced a new series of grants totalling $4.4 million to support organizations fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in critical and innovative ways. The Foundation is renewing 16 grants and funding nine new organizations to scale up programs that address societal trends driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This is one of EJAF’s largest grant cycles to date.
“For more than 20 years, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has been committed to confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic where it exists,” said EJAF Founder Elton John. “Our newest round of grants supports exciting and innovative projects addressing transgender health, homeless LGBT youth, the continued criminalization of HIV-positive people, and the syringe services for people who inject drugs. We also remain focused on increasing access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care for all.”
Included in this wide-ranging cohort of grantees, EJAF is also renewing its commitment as a founding partner of the Syringe Access Fund and will award $2 million over two years to reduce injection-related transmissions of HIV. This award builds on the $2.5 million investment the foundation made in 2013 and 2014 for services that aid people who inject drugs.
“Our grantees are on the front lines of the epidemic,” said Scott Campbell, EJAF’s executive director. “As one of the largest funders in the world dedicated to ending AIDS, we are committed to making real-time investments that address the latest trends in the epidemic and also providing ongoing support for the tried and true strategies that improve access to healthcare and ensure basic human rights for people most affected by the epidemic.”
Among the new grants are:
- Bold projects by Equality California Institute and The Williams Institute in California to change discriminatory state laws enacted during the HIV panics of the 1980s that criminalize HIV transmission;
- A new national survey by the University of Chicago to document the numbers and needs of homeless youth – especially homeless LGBT youth, who are at increased risk of HIV/AIDS;
- A program run by Garden State Equality to improve transgender people’s adherence to HIV treatment in New Jersey;
- A project by Immigration Equality in New York City that provides much-needed, high quality legal services to people with HIV caught up in the U.S. immigration system; and
- Increased support for programs by the National Black Justice Coalition to identify and cultivate the next generation of young Black LGBTQ leaders and engage them in the effort to end HIV/AIDS.
Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of a network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $349 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
For more information and for a complete list and descriptions of EJAF’s 2015 grantees, please visit www.ejaf.org.