Human Rights Campaign and Gilead Will Work Together to Combat HIV Epidemic and Promote Transgender Justice

by Elizabeth Bibi

Foster City, Calif. and Washington, D.C., February 2, 2021 – Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, today announced that Gilead will provide a $3.2 million grant over two years to support communities disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States, particularly communities of color. Gilead will directly fund the efforts of the HRC Foundation – HRC’s educational arm – aimed at ending the HIV epidemic, as well as fund the organization’s Transgender Justice Initiative.

This innovative initiative builds on core strengths of each organization, including Gilead’s long-standing efforts to address healthcare disparities and HRC’s leadership in advancing justice for LGBTQ+ communities for more than 40 years. It also builds on HRC’s commitment to programmatic work that actively challenges systems, laws and policies that disproportionately disadvantage LGBTQ+ people of color. Through this initiative, HRC will launch a public education campaign to change the narrative by focusing on dismantling stigma and discrimination while developing and advancing an inclusive public policy that addresses non-discrimination measures and healthcare disparities among LGBTQ+ communities.

“Too often, institutional racism and anti-LGBTQ+ bias have been barriers to comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment strategies. This grant will allow the Human Rights Campaign to work directly with community partners, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and youth serving professionals – especially those in Black and Latinx communities in the South and around the country – to increase awareness of HIV treatment and prevention options in order to reduce health disparities, and combat the discrimination and stigma that too often leads to fatal violence against transgender women of color.”

Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign

“Gilead is committed to promoting social justice and racial equity for the patients and communities we serve, as well as for our own employees. The grant to HRC builds on our commitment to advance equity in healthcare, particularly in Black communities and other communities of color that are disproportionately affected by HIV and other diseases.”

Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences

Stigma, homophobia and transphobia, racism, and lack of access to appropriate healthcare services are barriers to comprehensive HIV prevention and care. This particularly impacts the 1 in 4 Latino gay and bisexual cisgender men and 1 in 2 Black gay and bisexual cisgender men who will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. The funding from Gilead will enable HRC to work directly with these communities in the Southern U.S. and around the country, with partners including Us Helping Us in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland; Brotherhood Incorporated in New Orleans; TruEvolution in Riverside, California; Arianna’s Center in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico; Community Health PIER in Greenville, Mississippi; and BU Wellness Network in Indianapolis. In addition, through this work, HRC will partner with more than 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to supplement their efforts in providing HIV prevention education and resources to students. The funding will also support HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, which seeks to address the urgent needs of the transgender community, with specific attention to individuals deeply impacted by racism, sexism and transphobia.

“This new partnership will provide funding that will allow us to develop innovative community-advocacy programs, much like community-academic partnerships, that will lift the voice of communities most impacted by HIV, advance HIV programming and science, and bring us another step closer to ending the HIV epidemic by 2030,” said Dr. DeMarc Hickson, Executive Director, Us Helping Us. “I am pleased to see these steps taken by HRC and look forward to working alongside the other community-based organizations and the excellent team at HRC.”

“As the South’s leading Latinx transgender advocacy and social service organization, we pride ourselves on being the absolute bilingual bridge for our clients to accessing healthcare, HIV treatment and prevention and other life affirming services,” said Tony Lima, Chief Operating Officer, Arianna’s Center/Translatina Florida. “We have a keen understanding of the needs of the most marginalized and vulnerable within our communities and this fantastic partnership, HRC’s CBO Leadership Council, sponsored by Gilead, will help support our work and help us positively affect the lives of our people.”

“As the first Black community-based organization in New Orleans, we have been on the frontlines of the HIV movement,” said Veronica Magee-Jackson, Deputy Director of Brotherhood Inc. “Sadly, we have seen countless members of our community die from a lack of access to housing, mental health and other lifesaving services. We are excited to be part of HRC’s CBO Leadership Council. This partnership, sponsored by Gilead, gives us the resources we need to make a change and save lives in communities where the people look like us.”

HRC will host a virtual summit on February 23 featuring Alphonso David, HRC President and Shanell McGoy, Director, Public Affairs at Gilead, as well as advocates and community-based organization leaders, to discuss the efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. For more than 30 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of HIV.

Gilead’s social justice work includes a number of initiatives aimed at promoting equity, particularly healthcare equity, for individuals in underserved communities. The company has committed more than $100 million over 10 years through the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® to community organizations in the Southern United States working to combat HIV/AIDS and in 2019 started the TRANScend® Community Impact Fund to support organizations committed to improving the safety, health and wellness of the transgender community. In 2020, Gilead launched the Racial Equity Community Impact Fund, which is providing $10 million in funding to 20 organizations working to tackle racial inequities affecting Black communities across the United States.

About the Human Rights Campaign Foundation

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Through 11 programs and initiatives, we seek to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ people, with a clear focus on multiply marginalized people. We have transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 10 million elementary school students, 600,000 clients in the adoption and foster care system, and so much more. We work each day to shed light on injustice and deepen the public’s understanding. We provide direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices. We build the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs. And, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, we forge partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.

The Human Rights Campaign reports on news, events and resources of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that are of interest to the general public and further our common mission to support the LGBTQ community.

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