The Elton John AIDS Foundation and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief join forces to help end stigma and HIV/AIDS for LGBT people
London 4th November: The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched on November 4th a $10 million partnership that will provide grants to organisations working to meet the HIV-related needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, with an initial focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
The new partnership, which will see EJAF and PEPFAR each invest $5 million to improve access to HIV services for LGBT people and help to create non-stigmatizing environments by working with community leaders, civil society, and service providers. By providing funding to grassroots organisations and targeting projects that support LGBT people within countries with a high HIV burden, the move marks an important step toward ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s founder, Sir Elton John, said “Our goal is to build a quick, nimble and easily accessible fund which can get funds to the most effective public health organisations doing some of the most important work among the most at risk groups. Today’s announcement marks the culmination of tireless work from both sides to best support those helping the communities around the world which are often the hardest to support through societal stigma and discrimination.”
“We will only achieve an AIDS-free generation and ensure that no one is left behind if all people have non-discriminatory access to HIV/AIDS services,” added U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx. “We are proud to partner with Sir Elton John and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Together, we are putting words into action and calling on other partners to join us in meeting the urgent HIV-related needs of LGBT people and stopping stigma in its tracks.”
The announcement was delivered at a celebration at the London residence of Matthew Barzun, the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Ambassador Barzun said: “Step by step, day by day, people are doing the hard work on the ground to pave the way for an AIDS-free generation, and we’re proud to stand with them. We need the passion of people and the power of government to come together to finally eradicate HIV.”
Notes to editors:
The Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF) is dedicated to reducing the incidences of HIV/AIDS through innovative HIV prevention programmes, eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS and supporting direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS. It has raised nearly £221m (over $350m) since it was founded by Sir Elton John 23 years ago. The foundation is the UK’s largest private philanthropic HIV/AIDS grant maker and the 6th largest private AIDS foundation in Europe. The UK and US Foundation collectively rank within the top 10 AIDS charities in the world. The foundation believes that mitigating the HIV risk for vulnerable groups is essential to ending the epidemic and has committed over £8.7 in the last five years alone to these groups. For more information about EJAF please visit http://london.ejaf.org/ https://twitter.com/ejaf https://www.facebook.com/eltonjohnaidsfoundation/
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. Government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives. For more information about PEPFAR, visit: www.PEPFAR.gov, http://twitter.com/pepfar, or www.facebook.com/PEPFAR.
Facts Regarding the $10 Million Public-Private Partnership
The new partnership has been designed to align and expand PEPFAR and EJAF initiatives to improve access to HIV/AIDS and sexual transmitted infections services for LGBT people and advance progress toward reaching the UNAIDS Fast-Track targets by 2020. The partnership will also continue efforts to end stigma and discrimination against LGBT individuals by working with community leaders, civil society, and service providers to create non-stigmatizing environments.
In many countries, despite the significant progress that has been made in addressing HIV/AIDS, LGBT people often experience higher rates of HIV infection and more limited access to HIV/AIDS services than that of the wider population. This is compounded by the stigma and discrimination that many LGBT people still face in the communities where they live.
The partnership will expand upon existing PEPFAR and EJAF initiatives working to address structural challenges, and bridge critical gaps for LGBT people by: 1) Improving access to HIV/AIDS and STI prevention, treatment, and care information and services;2) Strengthening the capacity of community-based civil society leaders and organizations to deliver HIV/AIDS services; and3) Decreasing LGBT-related stigma and discrimination among health and other service providers, community and/or faith based leaders, families, and policy makers.
This announcement builds on the PEPFAR-EJAF partnership that was announced in October 2014 to expand access to non-discriminatory HIV/AIDS-related services for men who have sex with men and transgender individuals. Together, these announcements underscore the need for governments, the private sector, civil society, and other partners to join together in ensuring that key populations, including LGBT persons, have access to HIV/AIDS services and can live their lives free from stigma and discrimination.