Community Support Program Expands to Four Additional Southern States

Research Triangle Park, N.C., April 4, 2011 – ViiV Healthcare today announced that it will expand the Positive Action U.S. Southern Initiative to four additional states and issued a new request for letters of interest (LOIs). Established in 2010, the initiative focuses on linking people living with HIV into care and/or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease progression. Initially piloted in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, the expanded program will continue the mission of reducing disparities in HIV/AIDS care and treatment among African-American and Latinos in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“We know that local challenges are best met with local solutions. The Southern Initiative supports grass roots organizations and programs that reflect an understanding of the culture and knowledge of what will work best to further prevention and support the care of people living with HIV in their communities,” said Bill Collier, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare.

The Positive Action U.S. Southern Initiative was created to respond to the current realities of HIV today. New infection rates are the highest in African-American, followed by Latino populations in the South. At the end of 2007, African-Americans accounted for almost half (46 percent) of the people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection.[i] In 2008, Latinos accounted for more than 19 percent of the 42,439 new diagnoses of HIV infections in the U.S. The southern United States is disproportionately impacted by HIV representing 52 percent of all HIV cases.

The initiative reflects the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which prioritizes directing resources to areas and populations that have the greatest need. Selected organizations will be awarded up to $50,000 per year for a provisional commitment of two years.

“Southern states are disproportionately impacted by HIV and the challenges facing our communities and the organizations that support them are growing. If we don’t act now, we are going to see more communities in crisis,” said Patrick Packer of the Southern AIDS Coalition. “The Positive Action U.S. Southern Initiative expands desperately needed services that are critical to the support of the health and well being of African-Americans and Latinos living with HIV in the South.”

The Southern Initiative is part of the broader Positive Action program that has empowered community organizations in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia. ViiV Healthcare is committed to building on the success of the global program with efforts to support projects in the United States that address areas of greatest need.

Southern Initiative Application Process

Focusing on programs supporting African-American and Latino populations in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, this program is dedicated to helping individuals living with HIV and providing linkages to HIV/AIDS care and treatment adherence. Priority will be given to projects that address gaps in services.

The funds are intended to support existing, innovative programs with strategic support of program enhancements, such as:

  • Adding mental health counselling to an existing, successful Comprehensive Risk Counselling Services (CRCS) program
  • Adding linguistically and culturally appropriate resources (e.g., a Spanish-speaking staff member and materials) for adherence education and counselling
  • Training staff to focus on issues related to clients who have been incarcerated and funding an ongoing support group for the formerly incarcerated to address linkages to care
  • Training staff in “motivational interviewing” to enhance skills and providing innovative incentives to further motivate high-risk clients to stay adherent
  • Supporting efforts to address disparities and linkages to care among African-American and Latino gay men

Submitting an Initial Letter of Interest
Interested parties can receive detailed information about the two-phase proposal process and download an application form at

Questions will be publicly answered in the FAQ document located on the website. Additional questions about the process should be directed to Letters of Interest must be received by Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 5:00 p.m. EST for consideration to the full proposal phase.

All applicants invited to submit full proposals will be considered. Finalists will be invited to be a part of the ViiV Healthcare Positive Action U.S. Southern Network. Some of the Network benefits include invitations to attend Southern Initiative networking events, such as ViiV Healthcare’s 2011 Community Summit and the United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) in Chicago, Ill. from November 10 – 13, 2011. Organizations awarded grants will be notified in early October. Programs receiving grant awards will be posted on the ViiV Healthcare Positive Action website and, where possible, learnings and insights gained from the projects will be broadly shared.

About ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action Program
When Positive Action was created in 1992 it was the first pharmaceutical company program of its kind to support communities affected by HIV and AIDS. The program targets its funds towards community-focused projects that reach those most affected by HIV, particularly in marginalized or vulnerable populations. These include youth, women and girls, sex workers, injection drug users, MSM, the incarcerated, transgender and gay men. Positive Action works to build capacity in these communities to enable them to tackle stigma and discrimination, to test innovations in education, care and treatment, and to deliver greater and meaningful involvement of people living with HIV.

In 2010 Positive Action worked with 18 partners to support programs in 50 countries.

About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Our 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 new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit


U.S. media inquiries: Marc Meachem (919) 483-5005

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS among African Americans; August 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from

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