Janssen donates funds to stigmatized populations living with HIV
Janssen Therapeutics announced that the company will allocate funds to 16 nonprofit organizations that support populations disproportionately affected by HIV, including young men who have sex with men who are black, transgender women and gender-nonconforming individuals, according to a press release.
The special funding is intended to promote community-based care models and advocacy for vulnerable populations. The funds also support the White House’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which aims to increase access to HIV care, improve outcomes for patients and reduce health disparities.
Sixteen nonprofit organizations in the United States will receive a 1-year contribution of up to $30,000. They include eight organizations that focus on improving linkage and retention in care among young, black MSM living with HIV (AID upstate, BASIC NWFL, Long Island Crisis Center, NAESM, Nashville CARES, SMYAL, TPAN, and Warren-Vance), as well as eight organizations that support transgender women and gender-nonconforming people living with HIV (Abounding Prosperity, AIDS Project of the East Bay, GMHC, HIPS, MCCNY Charities, Metropolitan Charities, Someone Care of Atlanta, and University of Chicago).
Each of these groups living with HIV face “significant barriers” in health care, including stigma, discrimination and a lack of communication, the release said. Social determinants such as low socioeconomic background, poor mental health, unemployment and limited education further contribute to health disparities.
According to the release, young, black MSM accounted for the largest increase in new infections among all racial and ethnic groups between 2009 and 2013. Compared with whites, they were less likely to receive treatment (20% vs. 16%) and achieve viral suppression (39% vs. 34%). In addition, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy reported that HIV rates among transgender women are as high as 30%; however, efforts focused on the population are limited.
“The focus of our funding this year underscores our continued commitment to holistically addressing barriers to care among underserved, at-risk populations,” Nefertiti Greene, president of Janssen Therapeutics, division of Janssen Products, said in the release. “We believe that people living with HIV should have access to compassionate support, and communities play a pivotal role in providing resources to the most vulnerable.”
Disclosure: Greene is an employee of Janssen Therapeutics.