In 2021, there were 1.5 million new cases of HIV, with disproportionately high rates affecting Black and Latiné communities, prompting the Human Rights Campaign’s programs—Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Trans Justice Initiative (TJI) and HIV Health & Equity (HHE)—to partner with Gilead Sciences on its mission to fully eradicate HIV by 2030.
Over the last two years, and thanks to a $3.2 million dollar grant from Gilead, HRC reached and educated 14 million people through in-person and digital efforts on HIV, health equity, and health positivity. HRC’s public health fellowships, training, and peer facilitator programs empowered Black and Latiné young adults, collegiate leaders, and activists to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion and health equity in their communities nationwide. This year, Gilead is continuing this partnership by providing HRC a 3-year, $5M grant — the largest grant in HRC history.
The first Gilead grant enabled TJI and HRC’s HIV and Health Equity (HHE) team to partner with community organizations to provide at-home HIV testing kits and timely and up to date HIV and STI information. The new grant will allow them to expand on this critical work.
"In addition to disseminating 5,000 testing kits, HRC provided referrals to PrEP providers in high-risk areas and linked individuals living with HIV to care via navigation services. The kits included an OraQuick oral swab, condoms, lubricants, and a test information card to help those living with HIV secure the care they deserve,” said Torrian Baskerville, HRC’s HIV Health & Equity Director. “Through this generous grant, we were able to establish the Community-based organization (CBO) Leadership Council, which targets regions across the country that are the most impacted by HIV including: Greenville, MS, (Community Health PIER); Miami, FL, and Puerto Rico (Arianna’s Center); Washington DC (Us Helping Us); Indianapolis, IN (BU Wellness Network); and New Orleans, LA (Brotherhood Incorporated)."
The impact of these programs is felt most by those who have benefited from the grant and those stories humanize HRC’s HIV advocacy work.
“One of the highlights stemming from the Gilead grant has been the graduation of the ELEVATE and ACTIVATE fellows,” said Cooper. “The pandemic limited our ability to host in-person convenings, so the fellows decided to extend their one-year commitment and after almost 18 months, we were able to finally host an in person convening at HRC.
We had an incredible 97% completion rate even after the extended time period and as a result, of the leadership skills they learned, several fellows have started businesses and built lifelong friendships.”
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The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.