The Elton John AIDS Foundation has just announced its second round of grants for calendar year 2013, totaling $2,090,275. To date, this new funding brings the foundaion's grant investments for 2013 to nearly $3 million.
"After more than 20 years of doing this work, I know that the only way to fight AIDS is by helping everyone in need, especially those living at the margins of society," said Sir Elton, who founded the charity in 1992. "That's why we are very proud to support truly innovative organizations that are providing critical services to the most stigmatized populations."
The EJAF's one new and nine renewal grants support projects in Jamaica, Haiti, Canada, the Southern United States, and national initiatives throughout the U.S. Target populations covered by this grant cycle include gay men, incarcerated populations, injection drug users, African Americans, and young people. Grantee activities include HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services, legal services, organization development, and policy and advocacy.
Included among these new grants is a new two-year $1 million commitment to the EJAF's founding partnership with the Syringe Access Fund, which will be distributed as small grants to approximately 48 syringe exchange programs across the United States.
"Numerous scientific studies have incontrovertibly established that syringe exchange is a highly effective method for helping injection drug users significantly reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV and other blood-borne diseases and transmitting these diseases to others," stated the foundation's Chairman, David Furnish. "Studies have also clearly demonstrated that syringe exchange programs help to remove contaminated needles and syringes from community streets, playgrounds, and other public areas and to encourage drug users to avail themselves of other health and social services, including drug rehabilitation and treatment programs."
"We are extremely excited about the innovative work being undertaken by these grantees," added EJAF Executive Director Scott Campbell, "but our work doesn't stop there. We are already in the process of reviewing our final round of grant applications for the year, and we anticipate announcing more new grants in December."