NEW YORK, March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced a second year of grant awards made in partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). With the support of $100,000 in funding from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, EJAF has awarded $330,000 in grants to five organizations addressing the AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. EJAF is excited about the continued impact this partnership will have in advancing the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Southern United States where it is needed most. "Poor access to HIV testing and good healthcare, as well as pervasive inequality for people most vulnerable to the disease, continue to make the U.S. South an epicenter of today's AIDS crisis," said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. "This is particularly true for LGBTQ individuals and Black Americans living in the Southern states. A recent CDC report has projected that, if HIV infection rates remain unchanged, half of all Black gay men will test positive for HIV at some point in their lifetime, as well as one in four Latino gay men, and one in eleven white gay men. By making these grants, both Foundations commit to relentless advocacy and investment until we see meaningful and lasting change in the course of this epidemic." The projects being supported include:
- A Birmingham, Alabama center providing a safe, supportive, and affirming space for LGBTQ youth;
- A Georgia-based advocacy center focused on the impact of HIV/AIDS on young black gay men;
- A Jacksonville, Florida organization providing young LGBT people with access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP);
- A Memphis, Tennessee program supporting the needs of Black gay families; and
- An Atlanta-based community organization engaging transgender people of color, the larger LGBTQ community, and supportive allies to advocate for the end of policies that criminalize HIV/AIDS.
"Far too many people are denied equal rights and equal access to health care in this country, especially in the Southern U.S. This partnership helps to address the serious inequities that exist in the provision of education, diagnosis, and treatment for the people most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS," said ETAF Managing Director Joel Goldman. "At The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, we are thrilled to join the Elton John AIDS Foundation to help right this imbalance and address the needs of the hardest-hit areas and populations in the U.S. South." "In the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic began, Elizabeth Taylor was the brightest star in Hollywood, one of the greatest celebrities in the world," said EJAF Founder Elton John. "But she was also willing to get her hands dirty. She stood up for gay people when few others would, and she got right into the nitty-gritty of AIDS policy and fought for the cause, without a moment's hesitation or thought for her own reputation. Elizabeth was my dear friend, and she remains one of my heroes. I am extremely proud of EJAF's partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to help carry her great legacy forward."
About the Elton John AIDS Foundation At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for evidence-based programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people's lives. Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our kind and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $349 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org. American Airlines is the official airline of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
About The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, often to the most marginalized populations. Today, ETAF also provides funding for HIV prevention education and advocacy programs throughout the world, including existing organizations creating new and innovative techniques that help spread awareness of HIV prevention and treatment to targeted communities. To date ETAF has granted $17 million to more than 675 organizations in 44 countries and 42 states in the U.S. To learn more or to make a donation, please visit www.elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org.
SOURCE Elton John AIDS Foundation