NEW YORK, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of the July 2012 International AIDS Conference, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced its first round of grants for calendar year 2012 totaling $850,000. Three grants have been awarded to AIDS United, The NAMES Project's "Quilt-In the Capital 2012" program, and the SERO Project's "HIV Is Not a Crime" program. EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations supporting HIV prevention, stigma reduction, treatment, care, and service programs. During 2011, the Foundation awarded over $8 million in grants to more than 100 HIV-focused programs in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America. Please visit EJAF's website for a complete listing of EJAF's 2011 grants.
"We are tremendously excited about the important work of these three grantees," said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. "We look forward to collaborating with them over the next year and furthering our shared goals of fighting stigma and supporting underserved populations in communities heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS."
AIDS United, $700,000: "For the past 19 years, EJAF has provided funding to AIDS United (formerly the National AIDS Fund), bringing together the strengths of both organizations to advance HIV prevention, service, and advocacy programs across the U.S.," said EJAF's Executive Director Scott Campbell. "The Foundation continues to value this partnership, combining EJAF's voice and ability to mobilize resources with AIDS United's network of Community Partnerships and national HIV/AIDS grant-making initiatives."
AIDS United will apply EJAF's $700,000 award to several initiatives, including the Access to Care (A2C) Initiative and Community Partnership challenge grants. The Access to Care (A2C) Initiative supports innovative HIV programming in 10 U.S. locations, ranging from rural Alabama to the neighborhoods of Harlem, to ensure that these underserved communities are able to access and benefit from HIV treatment and care. The AIDS United Community Partnerships support local HIV grants, fundraising, technical support and advocacy in 29 states across the country. Please visit www.aidsunited.org for further information.
The NAMES Project, Quilt-In the Capital 2012, $100,000: The NAMES Project maintains, enhances, and displays The AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest memorial to individuals lost to HIV/AIDS in the world. Throughout its history, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been used to fight prejudice, raise awareness and funding, as a means to link hands with the global community, and as an effective tool in HIV/AIDS education and prevention. It is difficult to walk away from The Quilt unchanged. Campbell said, "By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The Quilt helps teach compassion; triumphs over stigma, phobia and taboo; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well being and that of their family, friends and community." EJAF is providing a one-time grant to help display The AIDS Memorial Quilt at over 50 venues in Washington, D.C., during the 19th International AIDS Conference, July 20-24, 2012, to help focus additional public attention on worldwide efforts to end the AIDS epidemic.
The SERO Project, HIV Is Not a Crime, $50,000: The United States leads the world in the prosecution and extended imprisonment of people with HIV for consensual and no-risk behavior. HIV criminalization - use of the criminal law to single out people with HIV for punishment that is significantly disproportionate to our treatment of similar or more serious risks of harm - may be one of the more harmful examples of active government support for the disparate treatment of people living with HIV. The facts of many of these cases read like relics from a less-informed past; in a number of states, exposing someone to HIV can produce a far more severe punishment than killing someone with a car. "EJAF is supporting the SERO Project to directly address the urgent issue of HIV criminalization by documenting the ways that HIV-positive people are impacted by criminal laws, engaging and empowering those who have been prosecuted, educating and mobilizing communities, and raising broad public awareness by sharing compelling personal stories of those who have been prosecuted," stated Campbell.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established as a nonprofit organization in the United States in 1992 and as a registered charity in the United Kingdom in 1993 by Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised more than $275 million for worthy programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, the Foundation is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. The U.S. organization's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs throughout the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
SOURCE Elton John AIDS Foundation
Web Site: http://www.ejaf.org