A group of organizations dedicated to improving HIV prevention and care for Black girls and women was awarded $12.6 million in grants through a new initiative by pharma giant Gilead Sciences.

Setting the P.A.C.E. (Prevention, Arts and Advocacy, Community, Education), a three-year initiative, will support 19 organizations in their efforts to increase HIV prevention, anti-stigma and health equity for Black cisgender and transgender women and girls impacted by the HIV epidemic, according to a Gilead Sciences news release.

Notably, more than 75% of the organizations selected for grants are led by Black women and all funding is allocated toward initiatives led or co-led by Black women.

Black women have long been disproportionately impacted by HIV. For example, U.S. Black women accounted for almost 14% of women living in the United States but made up about 53% of new HIV diagnoses among women ages 16 and older in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, Black transgender women have the highest rates of HIV diagnoses among trans women and are more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated compared with their peers.

Black folks are also underserved by prevention methods such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In fact, Black Americans made up only about 14% of PrEP users in 2022 despite accounting for 40% of new HIV diagnoses, according to AIDSVu.

Grantees of the Setting the P.A.C.E. initiative aim to empower local organizations and improve health outcomes for these populations by expanding programs that offer culturally relevant HIV care training and engaging local communities.

“By taking a strategic, community-centered approach to address systemic disparities and improve overall health outcomes, Gilead continues its commitment to advancing health equity for Black cisgender and Transgender women and girls in the U.S. who continue to be disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic,” executive vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel at Gilead Sciences, Deborah Telman, said in the news release. “Gilead’s Setting the P.A.C.E. initiative will help empower organizations to expand custom programs tailored toward fighting stigma and expanding access to HIV care in their communities.”

One grantee, Ribbon, a national nonprofit providing culturally responsive education, programs and services to health and human service providers, aims to end racial, social and environmental disparities among Black cisgender and transgender women throughout the country.

“Gilead’s support enables us to form collaborative partnerships and programs to help end the disparities in HIV awareness, prevention and care,” co-executive director of Ribbon, Linda Scruggs, said. “Our focus on the intersection of Black cisgender and transgender women in relation to HIV is not just about addressing an unmet need, it’s about rewriting narratives and changing destinies. Ribbon is dedicated to creating a future where access to HIV education and resources is a right, not a privilege, and where every person, regardless of their identity, can live a life of health, dignity and opportunity.”

The complete list of grantees includes:

  • A New Way of Life Reentry Project (Los Angeles, California)
  • AIDS United (Washington, DC)
  • Baltimore Safe Haven (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • California Black Women’s Health Project (Inglewood, California)
  • Dancing Grounds (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • Foundations for Living Incorporated (Jefferson, Georgia)
  • Howard University (Washington, DC)
  • National Association of Black Social Workers (Washington, DC)
  • Power Safe Place Resource Center of Virginia (Front Royal, Virginia)
  • Ribbon Inc. (Largo, Maryland)
  • San Francisco Community Health Center (San Francisco, California)
  • SisterLove Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • SLK Health Services Corporation (Lanham, Maryland)
  • The Black Women’s Learning Institute (BWLI) at NDRI-USA Inc. (New York, New York)
  • Transinclusive Group (Pembroke Pines, Florida)
  • Triumphant Together (Kissimmee, Florida)
  • Unspoken Treasure Society (Gainesville, Florida)
  • Waco Theater Center (Hollywood, California)
  • WeCareTn (Memphis, Tennessee)

To read similar articles, click #Grant. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Private Funding to Address HIV and AIDS Dropped $9M in 2021,” “$72.7M Grant to Boost HIV Prevention and Treatment Among Youth” and “$8M Awarded to 17 Community Groups Boosting HIV Prevention for Black Women.”