Help women across the U.S. access HIV services

Help AIDS United and Alicia Keys raise $25,000 to support innovative programs across the United States that serve women at risk or living with HIV.

Why we care: Women account for approximately 27 percent of new HIV cases in the United States.

How we’re solving this: Making $25,000 worth of grants to innovative programs for marginalized, underserved populations of women that don’t have or can’t access HIV preventive and care services.

The number of women living with HIV in the United States has grown steadily for the last 30 years. In 1985, only eight percent of new U.S. HIV cases were reported in women; by 1992, it was 14 percent. Today, women account for at least 27 percent of new U.S. cases.

The time is now for the EMPOWERED campaign—a public information campaign by Alicia Keys and Greater Than AIDS!

As part of the campaign, Ms. Keys and AIDS United are raising funds for the EMPOWERED Community Grants Program. The EMPOWERED Community Grants program looks to play a strategic role in supporting innovative programs for marginalized, underserved populations of women that do not have or cannot access HIV prevention and care services. The EMPOWERED Community Grants program offers support to the HIV/AIDS community at a critical and historic time–to continue progress of recent decreases in HIV among women.

Through this project, AIDS United is seeking to raise $25,000 of the overall grant funding of approximately $100,000 in the 2013 grant cycle. EMPOWERED is looking for proposals that spur innovative solutions to problems that have existed for women at risk for, or living with HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic—intersecting structural barriers to HIV care that include:

  • Policy barriers
  • Systems of care that do not address health needs with gender- or cultural- competency,
  • A lack of quality HIV care in rural or impoverished areas,
  • A lack of self-efficacy among women living with HIV/AIDS,
  • The need for trauma recovery and/or gender-based violence services for women living with HIV,
  • The need for increased leadership and political power in affected communities, and
  • Stigma and its impact on prevention, care, and quality of life.

An advisory committee will review proposals from community-based organizations and make recommendations to AIDS United so we can make award and administer grants. The 220 proposals are currently under review and we anticipate the announcement of the winners to come this October. To help select the best approaches to reaching women across the United States with the information the need about HIV/AIDS, the advisory has called on experts on the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the United States to help. The EMPOWERED Community Grants program selection committee includes:

  • Dawn Averitt, Chair, Executive Committee Women’s Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS
  • Dr. Ada Adimora, Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina
  • Paurvi Bhatt, Senior Director, Strategic Health Initiatives, Levis Strauss and Co.
  • Tayla Colton, Senior Director of Programs, Keep a Child Alive
  • Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, Medical Director, Infectious Disease Care Center at the United Medical Center
  • Anu Gupta, Director, Corporate Contributions Division, Johnson & Johnson
  • Vanessa Johnson, JD, National Coordinator, National Women and AIDS Collective
  • Alicia Keys, Singer-Songwriter; Co-Founder Keep a Child Alive; HIV/AIDS advocate
  • Naina Khanna, Executive Director, Positive Women’s Network
  • Terry McGovern, Professor of Health and Human Rights, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • Leisha McKinley-Beach, Director of Stakeholder Engagement and Technical Assistance, The Black AIDS Institute