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ViiV Healthcare Expands HIV/AIDS Community Support in Hard-Hit Southern U.S.

 ViiV Healthcare Expands HIV/AIDS Community Support in Hard-Hit Southern U.S.

Positive Action Southern Initiative Expands into Two Additional States and
Renews Funding for Current Network Organizations, Bringing Total Funding for
Grassroots Projects to More than 2.3 Million to Date

PR Newswire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 4, 2013

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --ViiV Healthcare
announced today the first Positive Action Southern Initiative (PASI) grant
awardees in Texas and Virginia and seven grant awards to current network
members in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Recipients
could receive up to $50,000 per year for a provisional commitment over the
next two years to support and expand existing programs focused on linking
people living with HIV and at-risk populations into prevention and care
services and/or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease
progression.

Award recipients include:

  oSan Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF), located in San Antonio, TX, will
    enhance their existing medical case management program through the
    provision of early intervention services. SAAF's early intervention
    specialist will collaborate with two HIV/AIDS medical clinics to identify
    those in need and link them to care and intensive case management.
  oInternational AIDS Empowerment, located in El Paso, TX, will expand the
    Vivamos! Program by adding a Retention in Care (RIC) component. The RIC
    Navigator will work with clinical partners and the Linkage to Care
    Coordinator to help coordinate comprehensive care through case management
    to directly address barriers to care for people living with HIV/AIDS
    (PLWHA).
  oAIDS/HIV Services Group (ASG), located in Charlottesville, VA, will expand
    the Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Resources and Linkages for Inmates
    (C.H.A.R.L.I.) Program to include mental health counseling for recently
    released PLWHA. 
  oBasic NWFL, Inc., located in Panama City, FL, will expand its U R
    CONNECTED program to provide counseling, phone check-ins, support groups,
    and other face-to-face engaging strategies to link PLWHA to care and
    improve adherence.
  oBig Bend Cares, Inc., located in Tallahassee, FL, will utilize funding to
    expand Project ACT (Assisting Clients to Treatment) that currently focuses
    on retention to care for African American men who have sex with men (MSM)
    to include white MSM and black heterosexuals, especially black women. The
    expansion will use Peer Navigators who will better serve women of color
    and white MSM through client counseling and adherence education.
  oRural Women's Health Project, located in Gainesville, FL, will continue
    the 'Let's Talk About It' (LTAI) women's HIV-positive Peer Advocate
    program, reaching HIV-positive women and female caregivers in the rural
    North Central Florida counties and helping them to remain in care. Funding
    will be used to develop new testimonial materials and a peer blog, as well
    as to expand the LTAI workshops into additional rural areas.
  oJacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Inc. (JASMYN), located in
    Jacksonville, FL, will support linkages to HIV care, treatment retention,
    medication adherence, and adoption of risk reduction behaviors for
    HIV-positive young African American gay, bisexual and other young men who
    have sex with men (YSMSM) ages 13 - 23, though linkage coordination, case
    management, internal referrals to risk reduction programs, advocacy, and
    collaboration.
  oNashville CARES, located in Nashville, TN, will enhance the IAMSTRONG
    peer-based health and adherence education and support for PLWHA by
    integrating the program model into the entire Nashville CARES services
    environment. The expansion will also include the creation of a CARES Cafe,
    a safe social space at the agency staffed by trained peers, where PLWHA
    can engage each other in discussions about proactive strategies for
    successful treatment adherence and management of HIV health needs.
  oSouth Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, located in Columbia, SC, will utilize
    funding on the PHAROAH behavioral risk reduction intervention that targets
    predominately African American HIV-positive incarcerated men and is
    designed to increase their HIV knowledge, enrollment and adherence to HIV
    medical care and treatment, and reduce sexual risk taking behaviors post
    incarceration.
  oWestern North Carolina AIDS Project, located in Asheville, NC, will
    develop pilot telehealth sites to improve linkage to HIV care and
    treatment adherence in 14 rural counties in North Carolina.

"Over the past three years we've witnessed the power of innovative community
programming as an effective way of providing strong HIV education, local
hands-on support to the HIV community, and resources that greatly impact
disease prevention in the Southern U.S.," said Bill Collier, Senior Vice
President and General Manager North America, ViiV Healthcare. "We have seen
the impressive results our partners on the ground have achieved thus far, and
are excited to expand on this important work and build on the foundation that
has been established by providing renewed funding as well as welcoming new
organizations to the network."

This new expansion into Texas and Virginia now brings the program's mission of
reducing disparities in HIV/AIDS care and treatment among
disproportionately-affected African-American and Latino populations to a total
of 10 Southern states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The initiative
reflects the White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which prioritizes
directing resources to areas and populations that have the greatest need. The
Southern United States is disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS,
representing 45 percent of all new AIDS diagnoses^i, with new infection rates
highest among African-American, followed by Latino populations.

In addition to receiving funding, grantees also become part of the Southern
Initiative Network, a resource that supports grantees and grantee finalists
through networking activities, including opportunities to share lessons
learned with one another and with other community experts.

Established in 2010, the Positive Action Southern Initiative is a
collaborative, community-focused program that supports HIV programs and
services for underserved populations in the Southern region of the United
States. With these latest grants, the Positive Action Southern Initiative has
committed over $2.3M towards funding grassroots projects designed to address
local gaps in care and services for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS
in this hard-hit region.

Positive Action Southern Initiative Highlights, Achievements, and Lessons
Learned Will Be Presented at the 2013 United States Conference on AIDS 

This month, highlights, achievements, and lessons learned from the first three
years of the Positive Action Southern Initiative will be presented during a
workshop at the 2013 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA). The workshop,
titled "Bridging the Cascade: Lessons Learned from the Positive Action
Southern Initiative," is meant to help expand the impact of the Southern
Initiative by inspiring and educating not only PASI network members, but also
other organizations and advocates involved in similar work.

"We are proud to be among the organizations that have consulted with ViiV
Healthcare on this important initiative from the outset," said Cornelius
Baker, Technical Advisor, Integrated Health Sciences, FHI 360, who will be
moderating the workshop. "Linking people to care and keeping them connected to
healthcare services is critical to our efforts to end HIV in the United
States. The session at USCA will provide an opportunity to examine the
accomplishments and challenges that various Southern Initiative member
programs have encountered addressing the goals of the National HIV/AIDS
Strategy and the treatment strategy. The workshop is another example of how
the Positive Action Southern Initiative supports collaboration and information
exchange across the region to make the HIV/AIDS response in the South more
robust and impactful."

During the workshop, panelists will provide insights on implementing their
programs among diverse at-risk populations (MSM, women, transgender
populations, formerly incarcerated, and the homeless) in a variety of
community settings in the South. The panelists include:

  oAyana Eady-Patterson, Social Services Coordinator for Housing Services,
    Union Mission, Savannah, GA
  oMark Johnson, Executive Director, Brotherhood Inc., New Orleans, LA
  oValerie Mincey, Executive Director, BASIC NWFL, Panama City, FL
  oLisa Diane White, Director of Programs, SisterLove, Inc., Atlanta, GA

The workshop will take place on Tuesday, September 10 from 2:30- 4:30 p.m.
CDT. Journalists registered at USCA are invited to attend the session. Phone
interviews regarding the workshop and/or the new grants are also available. 

About ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action Program
The Southern Initiative is part of the broader Positive Action program that
has empowered community organizations in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and
Asia. ViiV Healthcare is committed to building on the success of the global
program with efforts to support projects in the United States that address
areas of greatest need.

When Positive Action was created in 1992 it was the first pharmaceutical
company program of its kind to support communities affected by HIV and AIDS.
The program targets its funds towards community-focused projects that reach
those most affected by HIV, particularly in marginalized or vulnerable
populations. These include youth, women and girls, sex workers, injection drug
users, MSM, the incarcerated, transgender individuals, and gay men. Positive
Action works to build capacity in these communities to enable them to tackle
stigma and discrimination, to test innovations in education, care and
treatment, and to deliver greater and meaningful involvement of people living
with HIV.

For more information about Positive Action, please visit:
http://www.viivhealthcare.com/community-partnerships/the-viiv-healthcare-effect.aspx.


About ViiV Healthcare 

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November
2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to
delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi
joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. The company's aim is to take a
deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and
take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as
support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its
management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit
www.viivhealthcare.com.

^i Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV and AIDS in the United
States by Geographic Distribution. Accessed January 10, 2013 from
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/geographic.htm. and Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. HIV in the United States: At A Glance.
Accessed January 10, 2013 from
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm.

US Media Inquiries: Marc Meachem (919) 483 8756

SOURCE ViiV Healthcare

Website: http://www.viivhealthcare.com
 
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