Positive Action Southern Initiative Commitment Continues with New Grants Awarded to Seven Network Organizations

Research Triangle Park, NC – July 31, 2012 – ViiV Healthcare today announced seven new grant awardees of the Positive Action Southern Initiative, focused on supporting African American, Latino, women, homeless, and incarcerated populations in the Southeast United States. The selected organizations based in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, aim to help high-risk HIV/AIDS individuals and provide linkages to HIV/AIDS care and treatment adherence. Since its launch in 2010, ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Southern Initiative has helped to enable effective interventions and quality services to fight HIV in South-eastern states.

“The programs and solutions represented by the Southern Initiative network reflect some of the best HIV education and prevention resources in the Southern region of the United States,” said Bill Collier, Senior Vice President and General Manager North America, ViiV Healthcare. “We’re proud to continue funding this important work and anticipate strong results as this third round of grantees build on their successes and lessons learned.”

ViiV Healthcare and a panel of community advisors selected seven organizations to receive grants of up to $40,000 per year over the next two years to support and expand existing programs; five were grantees from the Southern Initiative launch year. The following organizations were selected as grant awardees:

  • Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) based in Montgomery, AL, a grantee from the first round, is expanding its program that initially provided services to newly-diagnosed and incarcerated women. With this second round of funding, AIM will work to provide additional prevention education and counselling to HIV-positive incarcerated women and HIV information to the general incarcerated population. The new grant will also support recruitment and training for two peer advocates to reduce risk-taking behaviour and increase access to care for newly released participants.
  • Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC), another grantee from 2010 ,based in Atlanta, GA, initially linked 29 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) to continuum of care and educated 1,289 PLWHA through the support of their phase one grant. With an additional grant, AHRC will expand the reach of their Mobile Health Unit and street outreach that includes harm reduction and prevention, HIV counselling, and linkage to care. They will also help to develop support groups for PLWHA, increase risk-reduction groups, and connect PLWHA to continuum of care.
  • Brotherhood, Inc. based in New Orleans, LA will expand their “ DollHouse ” CLEAR intervention program for African American male to female transgender persons recently released from prison. This program includes capacity-based training, a part-time Peer Health Navigator, participation in SUSTA 2 SISTA, and linkages to medical care and prevention services for PLWHA.
  • Grace House based in Jackson, MS will expand their CLEAR Intervention program to reach additional people, providing them with capacity-based training and skills to improve their treatment adherence. This is a continuation from work funded in 2010, which provided services for 63 PLWHA and four high-risk individuals through the support of their phase one grant.
  • SisterLove based in Atlanta, GA will enhance their “Everyone Has a Story” program to reach more individuals through increased collaborations with AIDS Service Organizations. The grant will also support group workshops and education for PLWHA, introduce a new treatment adherence journal resource, and implement a follow up program to improve adherence with HIV-positive leaders and a new full-time staff person.
  • Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council (SLAC) based in Lake Charles, LA plans to allocate funds toward development of innovative methods for using technology and social networks to retain patients in care; and educating the community at large and nursing students.  Additionally, the organization will enhance their Treatment Adherence Program increasing health literacy of PLWHA; providing support groups and a mentor program to reduce stigma and improve adherence, especially for young men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgenders, which continues work funded in phase one of the Southern Initiative.
  • Union Mission based in Savannah, GA initially completed eight educational workshops and conducted 147 home-based educational and adherence encounters through the support of their phase one grant. Union Mission will implement their Healthy Living Educational Adherence program with implementation of a new social media adherence annex. This program includes periodic adherence education and workshops, home-based medical care, integrated social support case management and care linkages, and peer advocate support for PLWHA.

“Statistics continue to indicate a significant and disproportionate impact of HIV on the Southern United States, with 43% of people living with HIV residing in the region[i],” said Emily Klukas, Positive Action Southern Initiative Review Committee Member and Capacity Building Specialist with the Latino Commission on AIDS. “The third phase of the Southern Initiative will help to alleviate this burden and support organizations that address critical gaps in services and enhance pre-existing programs.”

Piloted in 2010 in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the Positive Action Southern Initiative has expanded to include four additional states, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and 22 organizations who participate in the Southern Initiative Network, a resource that supports grantees and grantee finalists through networking activities, including opportunities to share lessons learned with one another and with other community experts.

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. Last year, ViiV Healthcare committed more than $1 million in Positive Action Community Grants to over 60 national and local community organizations to fund projects designed to prevent HIV transmission and improve the health of people in the United States living with HIV/AIDS. 

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.

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. 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 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:

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[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Surveillance Report 2009, Table 21. 2011

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