HIV community-led programs in prevention and care receive Gilead grants

Four programs targeting communities at risk or disproportionately impacted by HIV are among the first recipients of the new Gilead Australia Community Grants Program.

Gilead Sciences Australia announced today that it has awarded a total of $260,000 to support the efforts of eight patient and community organisations around Australia dedicated to increasing the health and wellness of people living with blood-borne viruses, including HIV, and various cancers over the next 12 months. This includes $160,000 in grants for four innovative community-led programs in HIV prevention and care.

The four HIV-focused grants are for community-led projects that will have a direct, meaningful and measurable impact on people living with HIV or in the prevention of HIV.

They include:

  • Undertaking a comprehensive review and analysis of the denial of the provision of insurance for people living with HIV and/or hepatitis and its impact (HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC)).
  • Assisting overseas-born people with HIV through the Australian migration and healthcare systems (The National Association of People with HIV (NAPWHA)).
  • Distributing and installing HIV-self testing kit vending machines across Queensland (Queensland Positive People).
  • Implementing a program to reduce barriers to accessing pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (Central Adelaide Local Health Network).

Michelle Skehan, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Gilead Sciences Australia and New Zealand says: “We recognise there are people in Australia who experience social or economic obstacles to accessing HIV testing, treatment and care. Gilead Sciences is proud to support NAPWHA, Queensland Positive People, HALC and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network in their efforts to advance equity in access to HIV prevention and care.”

Commenting on receiving funding for their vending machine distribution initiative, Luke Coffey, Rapid Program Manager from Queensland Positive People said: “Our project seeks to improve HIV testing access and address healthcare disparities via the vending machine distribution of HIV self-test kits across Queensland sites. Gilead has funded the first iteration of the project, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued support. This speaks to their commitment to empowering community responses toward the virtual elimination of HIV transmission and genuine care and dedication to improving healthcare outcomes for those living with HIV.”

Ms Skehan added: “In recent decades we have witnessed the power of collaboration in HIV prevention and care. We are committed to building on this by supporting and working with the community, academia and healthcare professionals so that together, we can end the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere. These four projects will help address some key remaining challenges for those disproportionately impacted by HIV or underrepresented in existing programs.”