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ViiV Healthcare expands funding for HIV/AIDS organizations in South


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A joint venture founded by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer focused on treatments for HIV has expanded its support of community organizations in the South.

ViiV Healthcare announced Wednesday the first recipients of grants under its Positive Action Southern Initiative in Texas and Virginia, as well as 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 with HIV and at risk of contracting it to prevention and care services or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease progression. The program has donated more than $2.3 million since its 2010 founding. GSK and Pfizer formed ViiV in late 2009, and Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012.

The recipients include the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, San Antonio; International AIDS Empowerment, El Paso, Texas; AIDS/HIV Services Group, Charlottesville, Va.; Basic NWFL, Panama City, Fla.; Big Bend Cares Inc., Tallahassee, Fla.; Rural Women's Health Project, Gainesville, Fla.; Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville CARES, Nashville, Tenn.; South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, Columbia, S.C.; and Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Asheville, N.C.

"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.," ViiV Healthcare SVP and general manager for North America Bill Collier said. "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."

The expansion into Texas and Virginia is designed to reduce disparities in HIV and AIDS care and treatment among disproportionately affected African-American and Latino populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South represents 45% of all new AIDS diagnoses, with new infection rates highest among African-Americans and Latinos.

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