The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced over $3.2 million in new grants that will further its mission to assist the most marginalized populations vulnerable to HIV infection. These new awards brought EJAF’s final total grant-making commitments for calendar 2011 to a record $8,316,871, with disbursements totaling $7,006,871 last year.These grants represent EJAF’s continuing commitment to fund demographics and geographic regions that are seriously impacted by HIV/AIDS and under-served by traditional funders. Grant expenditures totaling $3,221,622 were awarded for 19 new and 29 renewal grants, including:
health services for Black women, one of the highest HIV-impacted populations in this country;
innovative programs focused on the health and rights of gay and bisexual men throughout the U.S.;
programs designed to help people with HIV who are leaving prison to access and stay on treatment and maintain their health as they reintegrate into society;
small community grants supporting services for gay men throughout Latin America;
clinical and mental health services for vulnerable populations in the Caribbean; and
additional funding totaling $1.6 million over two years to support over 50 community organizations providing needle exchange and harm reduction services for injection drug users.
“Through the efforts of hundreds of privately-funded syringe access programs, HIV incidence due to injection drug use in the U.S. has declined from 25% of all infections in 2000 to 9% today,” said Executive Director Scott Campbell. “Scaled-up syringe access programming could bring injection-related HIV infections down to zero. Given Congress’ unfortunate reinstatement of the ban on the use of federal funding for syringe exchange programs, EJAF’s increased investments as one of the top three funders in this field are particularly crucial.””For twenty years, EJAF has remained consistent in our mission, even as we’ve increased the scope and reach of our grant-making,” added Chairman David Furnish. “Our most recent grants continue this historic focus, dedicating critical funding to the most urgent and under-resourced aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”