Initiative to Provide $17.6 Million to 30 U.S. Organizations to Elevate the Work of Community Groups and Provide Support Needed to Strengthen Care for People Aging with HIV
Gilead Sciences announced it is providing $17.6 million in grants to 30 organizations in the United States through the Gilead HIV Age Positively initiative. This effort aims to enhance the lives of individuals aging with HIV by focusing in three priority areas: improving care coordination, increasing resources for better well-being, and educating and informing policies that impact people living and aging with HIV. Estimates suggest that by 2030, more than 80 percent of people living with HIV will face at least one age-related medical condition, compared to just 29 percent in 2010.
“Community partners who work tirelessly to improve the lives of people living with HIV inspire us all,” said Amy Flood, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Gilead. “Gilead understands science alone is not enough to help people lead longer, healthier lives. That’s why we work together with advocates, healthcare providers and community organizations to identify the unique challenges people aging with HIV experience and dedicate resources to maximize impact in communities across the country.”
The HIV Age Positively grantees include longtime advocacy organizations, who are now better equipped to provide life-saving services to their communities, as well as newer organizations that add to the overall effort to strengthen care and services for this growing population. Each grantee was selected for their unique ability to articulate interventions that have the potential to transform the quality of life for people aging with HIV.
“Anyone who lived through the 1980s and ‘90s remembers the generation of Americans we lost to the HIV epidemic and the heroic work this community has done together to increase the life expectancy of people living with HIV,” said Kelsey Louie, Chief Executive Officer, Gay Men’s Health Crisis. “As they have in the past, Gilead brought experts together, listened to what our community needed and identified the organizations best equipped to tackle specific problems. Funding from HIV Age Positively is going to help long-term survivors combat loneliness, obtain access to the resources and support they need and create better, more personalized healthcare. Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life and this program is going to help make that possible for countless people living and aging with HIV.”
Aging people living with HIV face a unique set of challenges, and healthcare providers and the broader community of allies need additional resources to meet their needs. As part of the HIV Age Positively effort, Gilead convened an advisory board of experts with deep insights into the subject of aging with HIV.
“The advisory board created a space for leaders to come together and address these unmet needs of people aging with HIV,” said Stephen Karpiak, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research at ACRIA Center on HIV and Aging at GMHC, and a member of the advisory board. “By spotlighting and uplifting potential interventions, we aim to shine a bright new light on the too often forgotten and marginalized community of people aging with HIV: the challenges they face, the resources they need and the support they deserve.”
The advisory board members included healthcare providers, researchers and community advocates from AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), Test Positive Awareness Network (TPAN), the University of Pittsburgh, Boston University, ACRIA, University of California, San Diego, HTW Campaign, SAGE and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.
This group determined that addressing the interrelated challenges within our healthcare system and the general HIV community, like stigma, loneliness and better coordination of care, is essential in reaching a viable solution to these challenges.