ViiV Healthcare Builds on accelerate Initiative, Extending Community-Centered Approach Nationally to Disrupt Disparities in Care for Black Same-Gender-Loving Men Living With HIV

Expansion informed by new insights report featuring eight findings from the one-of-a-kind, place-based initiative focused on experiences of Black men in Baltimore, MD and Jackson, MS

New funding opportunity offers grants to engage more Black gay, bisexual, queer, trans and other men who have sex with men  

Research Triangle Park, NC – February 25, 2021 – ViiV Healthcare today announced the expansion of its accelerate Initiative, committing to fund innovative and promising projects that support the health and wellbeing of Black gay and bisexual men throughout the United States. Launched in 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland and Jackson, Mississippi, the place-based pilot took a holistic approach, rooted in a community-centered framework to incubate solutions for improving access and engagement in care for Black same-gender-loving men in the high-prevalence cities.

The company also released a retrospective report, When We Feel Whole: Learnings From the accelerate Initiative which shares insights from the company’s four-year, $10 million commitment in Baltimore and Jackson. Engaging an estimated 4,600 men in grantee-driven activities and more than 6,600 people in some element of accelerate, the initiative leveraged social, economic and political determinants to address health disparities by focusing on three things –addressing the stigma that limits men’s lives and health; increasing access and engagement in care; and fueling community-driven solutions that are essential to responding to the needs of the whole person to create long-term changes in the individual, community and care environment. 

accelerate succeeded where other community solutions struggled because it was rooted in a collaborative approach of asking, listening and learning,” said Marc Meachem, Head of US External Affairs, ViiV Healthcare. “At ViiV Healthcare, we bring novel approaches to tackling the HIV epidemic. Beyond funding, this initiative and the subsequent report demonstrate strategies for leadership development, mentoring and capacity building that hold the potential to unlock the sustainable change required to overcome HIV once and for all.”

Today, black gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the United States, accounting for one of every four new diagnoses. To further combat this trend, ViiV Healthcare announced a new funding opportunity to sustain the company’s commitment in Jackson, MS and Baltimore, MD, and expand the program nationally to meet and support the needs of Black same-gender-loving men throughout the country. To learn more about the program, eligibility, and timelines, please see the request for proposal here

Meachem continued, “Our increased funding in accelerate is part of an overall increased investment from $10 million to $20 million for community infrastructure and leadership for the populations most affected by HIV. We believe that authentic and deep community involvement is the path to improved trust in systems, decreased stigma, and increased engagement in care.” 

The findings from When We Feel Whole helped inform the next phase of accelerate, and outline key considerations to strengthen the response to the crisis of HIV/AIDS disparities and improve outcomes for Black same-gender-loving men, with implications across the public health space for BIPOC communities. Key lessons outlined in the report include: 

Program Design Learnings

  • Develop flexible mechanisms for continuous community listening and identify essential design elements and mindsets early on.
  • HIV cannot be addressed in a vacuum. A person’s “whole-self,” including housing stability, mental health and economic justice must be considered for programming to be successful.
  • Leadership development is critical to strengthen communities, coalitions and organizations to drive impact.
  • Sharing learnings is a key opportunity for making change on a community and national level.

Stigma Reduction Learnings

  • Stronger networks help men break down stigma, build social and economic supports and feel more empowered to engage and advocate for the care they want.
  • Safer spaces and peer navigation help men build trust and community connections, critical to making HIV prevention and testing the pathway to care that it should be.
  • Investing in the leadership and professional development of peer navigators builds overall community power and helps men move across the HIV care continuum by meeting men where they are and supporting them in getting to where they want to be.
  • Arts and culture activations are effective in engaging Black men and are precursors to stigma reduction.
“We’re thankful to the men in Baltimore and Jackson that trusted us with stories that are often overlooked,” said P.J. Moton-Poole, Senior Manager and accelerate Lead, ViiV Healthcare. “It’s the bravery, authenticity and resilience of the community that helps us direct our resources toward sustainable solutions that close gaps in care. We’ll continue to listen to and learn from Black men across the country, so no one is left behind.”

When We Feel Whole can be read online here.

About the Study Methodology  

This report compiles a mix of evaluation and assessment data from 2016-2019, including grantee monitoring and evaluation from Johns Hopkins University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, TCC Group as well as the ACCELERATE! Road Tour, which was a series of community listening sessions in 2019 conducted by members of Black gay communities. The monitoring and evaluation study incorporated quantitative surveys, qualitative research and process evaluation data. In Baltimore, data also supported the use of mathematical modeling to project population-level impacts of potential future intervention strategies.

The report pulled directly from making-meaning sessions with community and national advisory boards and was co-authored and reviewed by a mix of community members, grantees and advisors.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention, as well as support communities affected by HIV. 

For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2019 and as set out in GSK’s Principal risks and uncertainties” section of the Q4 Results and any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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