The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced its third round of annual grants made in partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) to organizations fighting the AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. With the increased support of $150,000 in funding from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, EJAF has awarded $485,000 in grants to nine in the region. 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.
“A lack of access to HIV testing and quality healthcare continues to make the U.S. South an epicenter of the AIDS crisis in our country,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “By making these grants, both Foundations are committing to continued advocacy and investment in the South – particularly with regard to LGBTQ individuals and Black Americans – 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;
- • 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;
- • LGBT youth programs in Atlanta, Georgia, and Corpus Christi, Texas;
- • A symposium for organizations working with Black and Latino gay men in Memphis, Tennessee; and
- • A Columbia, South Carolina, program designed to help patients adhere to their HIV treatment regimen and achieve “undetectable” viral suppression.
“Far too many people are denied equal rights and equal access to healthcare 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. “Given the current political climate, it is crucial to coordinate responses with partners, and collaborate to work smarter and be more efficient.”
“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 our partnership with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to help carry her great legacy forward.”