The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), a leader in the global effort to end AIDS, today announced it awarded nearly $3.5 million in grants to 57 organizations addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in critical and innovative ways in December.

This brings the Foundation’s total grant investments for calendar year 2016 to nearly $8.6 million and builds on its ongoing support for organizations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

“For nearly 25 years, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has been committed to aggressively confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic where it exists,” said EJAF Founder Sir Elton John. “We are proud of this newest round of investments, in which we support work in over 50 locations, from vital medical services to creative cutting edge activism on some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

The Elton John AIDS Foundation has four strategic goals for its grants:
• Health and wellness: Ensuring everyone living with or at risk of contracting HIV is healthy, safe, and has unfettered access to high quality medical care and any other services they need to live fulfilling lives.
• Rights: Ensuring people living with or at risk of HIV are treated fairly under the law.
• Quality of life: Ensuring people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV have a high quality of life.
• Resilience: Ensuring the individuals and organizations working on EJAF’s grant-making priorities have the resources and training they need to support their missions efficiently and effectively.

The grants made by the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 2016 include 27 first-time grants and over 100 renewal grants. The average size of an EJAF grant in 2016 was approximately $81,000, and nearly all of the renewed grantees have been funded for multiple years to achieve impact and lasting change.
Highlights from the December 2016 grants include:

• A new grant in southern Haiti supports crucially needed medical services for people with HIV/AIDS. This region was recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew and this grantee, the St. Boniface Foundation, has been at the forefront of the response to this disaster. Other international investments include two new grants providing HIV-related services in Mexico and an advocacy effort across Latin American countries in response to the Global Fund’s withdrawal from middle-income countries.
• Twenty-five grants totaling $1,398,000 in investments support organizations in the southern U.S. working across EJAF’s grant-making priorities, as well as targeted investments to build up the response to HIV/AIDS in rural areas, including rural West Virginia, Texas, and Kentucky.
• Fifteen grants totaling $783,000 provide services and advocacy supporting LGBT communities, including LGBT Community Centers in New York, Los Angeles, Memphis, TN, Jacksonville, FL, Birmingham, AL, and Philadelphia, PA. EJAF is also investing in efforts to mobilize LGBT individuals in Atlanta, GA, to become engaged as HIV/AIDS activists in their communities. A number of grants will support developing leadership skills in young LGBT people living with HIV.
• Seven grants totaling $305,000 support organizations led by and serving transgender communities in Albuquerque, NM, San Juan, PR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Bronx, NY. These programs help HIV-positive transgender people connect to medical treatment, train doctors and medical providers to increase sensitivity toward transgender people, and help transgender people facing injustice in the criminal justice system.
• Three grants totaling $180,000 support programs providing legal counsel, medical care, and support services for people engaged in sex work.
• Grants to ACT UP NY and SisterLove in Atlanta include campaigns to increase women’s access to PrEP, the once-per-day pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection.
• Six grants totaling $170,000 support programs working with recently and formerly incarcerated HIV-positive people to help them rebuild their lives and remain on treatment after leaving prison or immigration detention. These programs, many led by LGBT people, also help organize the formerly or currently incarcerated to advocate for their health and rights.
• Grants in North Carolina and Florida help launch the states’ first legal syringe exchange programs.
• Ten grants totaling $520,000 address municipal- and state-level laws and policies affecting people living with HIV. One grant supports a national effort to address issues in the criminal justice system affecting LGBTQ and HIV positive people. EJAF is also funding organizations working to challenge discriminatory laws, including the HB2 “bathroom” law in North Carolina through the Gavin Grimm Supreme Court case.

“Our grantees are on the front lines of the HIV epidemic,” said EJAF executive director Scott Campbell. “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, while also looking for solutions to address the real drivers of HIV – injustice, discrimination, inequality and intolerance.”

A complete list and descriptions of all 57 December 2016 grants are posted at www.ejaf.org.

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