Lil Nas X Teams Up with Gilead COMPASS Initiative®  to Raise Nearly $500,000 for Community Organizations Addressing HIV in the Southern United States

Launched in 2017, COMPASS helped more than 200,000 people access quality healthcare and other HIV services and trained 10,000 people to build organizational capacity and become HIV leaders and advocates

March 29, 2022 — Gilead COMPASS Initiative® (COMPASS) today announced that rapper Lil Nas X’s Montero baby registry raised nearly $500,000 for COMPASS grantees – community organizations on the frontlines working to address the growing HIV epidemic in the Southern United States. The baby registry was launched last September to celebrate the Grammy award-winning rapper’s debut album Montero and included 13 COMPASS organizations whose efforts are helping to combat the HIV epidemic in a region responsible for 51% of new annual HIV cases despite making up just 38% of the U.S. population in 2019.

The announcement comes as newly released CDC data showed that HIV continues to disproportionately impact Black people more than others due to several barriers and inequities, with 52% of Black adults diagnosed with HIV residing in areas with potential negative effects on communities caused by external stresses on human health as measured by the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI).

“I’m so thankful to everybody who donated to my baby registry and joined me in helping to transform all of these communities in the South,” said Lil Nas X. “Together we are giving much-needed resources to those who need it most – especially those impacted by HIV – and also helping inspire the leaders who are constantly fighting for HIV education and awareness.”

“Donations from the Montero baby registry will have a direct impact on communities affected by HIV and we’re deeply thankful for Lil Nas X and his sustained advocacy for HIV awareness and education,” said Dr. Shanell L. McGoy, Director of Public Affairs, Corporate Giving at Gilead Sciences. “The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® is committed to supporting the work of community-based organizations working around the clock to address HIV-related stigma, increase access to resources that support wellness and encourage leadership and advocacy across the Southern United States. The baby registry donations are a welcomed and added boost for our grantees.”

Arianna’s Center – a South Florida-based organization that engages, empowers and uplifts the Transgender community of South Florida – was one of the COMPASS grantees selected by Lil Nas X for the Montero baby registry.

“When people like Lil Nas X use their platform for good, they have an enormous impact on the advocates and service providers who are working on the ground to destigmatize HIV and support the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Arianna Inurritegui-Lint, founder of Arianna’s Center. “Seeing the baby registry donations pour in from across the country has been incredibly validating and we’ve been able to put the money towards additional education, employment, immigration and healthcare programs and services for the Transgender community in South Florida.”

Last year, in its fourth round of funding, COMPASS awarded 29 organizations $2,875,000 as 2021 Transformative Grant Partners working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. The initiative grew significantly, with the selection of new grantees, inclusion of organizations with a specific focus on addressing HIV in rural regions and faith communities and expansion of the program to three new states – Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Launched in 2017, COMPASS helped more than 200,000 people access quality healthcare and other HIV services and trained 10,000 people to build organizational capacity and become HIV leaders and advocates.

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