Southern AIDS Coalition Selected To Receive $5 Million In Renewal Funding With The Gilead COMPASS Initiative®

SOUTHERN UNITED STATES—The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) announces that it has been refunded as a Coordinating Center (CC) along with Emory University, University of Houston, and the newest CC, Wake Forest University School of Divinity. SAC continues to award organizations addressing HIV in the Deep South. In the coming year, SAC will partner with nine organizations to identify interventions that are effective at reducing HIV-related stigma and capable of being replicated elsewhere in the South. The COMPASS Initiative® is an investment by Gilead Sciences to support community-based organizations working to address the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States.

“The Southern AIDS Coalition coordinating center has developed and supported education and advocacy efforts to address HIV-related stigma, discrimination, and health inequities – work crucial to ending the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States,” said Brett Pletcher, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel. “We are grateful to SAC for its ongoing efforts to advance the progress of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative and bring HIV to an end.”

SAC will continue with its focus on eradicating HIV-related stigma.  Combating HIV-related stigma is a crucial step for addressing the challenges facing those living with HIV in the South, as well as HIV prevention. During the first phase of COMPASS, the SAC Coordinating Center awarded approximately $2,000,000 in grants to nearly fifty organizations across the South.

“We look forward to partnering with our communities to build upon the foundation laid in Phase One. Through collaboration with our grantee partners and amplification of their efforts, we will be even closer to transforming our region.”

—Mardrequs Harris, Southern AIDS Coalition Director of Community Investments

“SAC is thrilled to continue our work as a Coordinating Center with the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®.  Working closely with organizations and leaders from across the South to build programs that address stigma in their communities– that is our mission in action,” said Executive Director Dafina Ward.

SAC is particularly looking forward to the opportunities posed by new partnerships.  In addition to Wake Forest School of Divinity,  GLAAD has also joined the efforts and will support communications through the COMPASS Initiative®. “We look forward to partnering with our communities to build upon the foundation laid in Phase One. Through collaboration with our grantee partners, and amplification of their efforts, we will be even closer to transforming our region,” said Director of Community Investments, Mardrequs Harris.

About the Southern AIDS Coalition: The Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) is a non-partisan coalition of government, community, and business leaders working alongside thousands of people living with HIV and our allies to end the HIV epidemic in the South. We do this through public health advocacy; capacity building assistance; PLHIV leadership development; research and evaluation; and strategic grantmaking. To learn more or to join us, visit www.southernaidscoalition.org. 

About the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®: The Gilead COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative is an unprecedented $100 million commitment over 10 years to support organizations working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. The South is most affected by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 54% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. In response to the Southern HIV epidemic, the initiative focuses on providing concentrated investments in the region to reduce HIV-related health disparities, build awareness, advance education, and reduce stigma. The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® includes corporate giving programs, independent medical education grants, and the AIDSVu partnership. For more information, please visit www.gileadcompass.com.

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