RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- ViiV Healthcare today announced the launch of Positive Action U.S. Southern Initiative, a collaborative, community-focused program designed to address gaps in services or programs that support linkages to care and treatment adherence among individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
The launch follows extensive consultations with some of the sector's leading non-governmental organizations, practitioners and policy-makers to better understand the personal, societal and structural barriers that may prevent people from accessing and maintaining care. The Southern Initiative is designed to address critical needs identified by communities and support the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy goals of reducing health disparities. The program builds on the strengths of the heritage GSK Positive Action and Pfizer Foundation Southern HIV/AIDS Prevention programs.
ViiV Healthcare is seeking letters of interest (LOIs) to support programs specifically focused on reducing disparities in HIV/AIDS linkages to care and treatment among African American and Latinos in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The program will provide selected organizations with up to $50,000 per year for a provisional commitment of two years.
"Black Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and many are still not linked to care," stated Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. "We are very pleased to see ViiV address this issue in this way. These are the right populations to target and the south is the right region of the country to target if we are to be serious about changing the trajectory of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S."
In the U.S., the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to African American and Latino communities. In 2007, African Americans represented approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, yet accounted for 49 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses.(i) In that same year, Latinos represented an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. population but accounted for 19 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses.(ii) Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, the rate of new infections is 10 times greater among African Americans and three times greater among Latinos.(iii)
"Grassroots organizations know what their communities need. They have innovative ideas and knowledge required to succeed, but may lack adequate financial resources. Through the Southern Initiative, we hope to help reduce healthcare disparities and tackle the HIV epidemic in this country in a meaningful, sustainable way," said Bill Collier, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare.
With an emphasis on community engagement, ViiV Healthcare's Global Positive Action program supports efforts to address the challenges of HIV prevention, tackling stigma and discrimination, building capacity and treatment literacy. In 2009, the Positive Action global program provided over 1 million pounds sterling, funding projects in 46 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Southern Initiative Application Process
Focused on programs supporting African American and Latino populations in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, this program is dedicated to helping high-risk individuals and to 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 counseling to an existing, successful Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS) program.
- Training staff to focus on issues related to clients who have been incarcerated and funding a support group for the formerly incarcerated addressing linkages to care.
- Adding linguistically and culturally appropriate resources (e.g., a Spanish-speaking staff member and materials) for adherence education and counseling.
- Training staff in "motivational interviewing" to enhance skills and providing innovative incentives to further motivate high-risk clients to stay adherent.
Submitting an Initial Letter of Interest
Interested parties can receive detailed information about the two-phase proposal process and download an application form at http://www.viivhealthcare.com/community/positive-action-program/our-programmes/us-southern-initiative.aspx.
Questions will be publicly answered in the FAQ document located on the website. Additional questions about the process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of Interest must be received by Friday, July 30, 2010, 5:00pm ET for consideration to the full proposal phase. Organizations awarded grants will be notified in early September. Projects funded should commence before October 1, 2010. Programs receiving grant awards will be posted on the Positive Action website and, where possible, learnings and insights gained from the projects will be broadly shared.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering 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 www.viivhealthcare.com.
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GlaxoSmithKline disclosure notice: Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 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. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company' s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2009.
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A further list and description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report of Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 and in its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
(i) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS among African Americans; August 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/resources/factsheets/aa.htm.
(ii) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS among Hispanics/Latinos, August 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/hispanics/resources/factsheets/hispanic.htm.
(iii) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS surveillance report: Cases of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas. Volume 19, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/reports/2007report/pdf/2007SurveillanceReport.pdf.
SOURCE ViiV Healthcare