ViiV Healthcare, the pharmaceutical company dedicated to HIV treatment and care, awarded a total of $8 million to help 17 community-based organizations promote HIV prevention and care for Black women.

African-American women account for about 61% of new HIV cases among U.S. women, ViiV points out in its announcement of the grants. Although pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is highly effective at preventing HIV, Black women have been slower to access these pills and long-acting injections.

“In the U.S., Black women are rarely prioritized when it comes to HIV. That is why ViiV Healthcare is proud to fund community organizations that are leading a shift in this paradigm,” said Kimberly Smith, MD, MPH, senior vice president and head of research and development at ViiV Healthcare. “With this—the largest fund in the U.S. dedicated to Black women and HIV—we are doubling down on our commitment to fuel a wave of action aimed at disrupting the disparities that keep Black women from engaging in HIV prevention and care.”

The grants are part of ViiV’s Risk to Reason initiative, launched earlier this year to offer stigma-free language for discussing HIV and Black women. That initiative is itself an outgrowth of ViiV’s Positive Action for Women community program.

“We are excited to receive this grant and put this project into action,” Jasmine Tasaki, executive director of grantee WeCareTN, a Tennessee nonprofit, told POZ. “Our innovative work is essential to Black transgender women across the nation, especially since this group of women have historically been difficult to reach and link to care. We are honored to amplify and strategize with Black transgender women, helping providers gain a better understanding. With these tools, they will be better positioned to serve their communities by creating a culture of equitable health care and access to public health.”

The 17 Risk to Reasons grantees are:

  • Advocates for Youth

  • African Services Committee

  • AIDS United

  • Black Ladies in Public Health Foundation


  • Multicultural AIDS Coalition Inc.

  • National Network to End Domestic Violence

  • Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC Inc.

  • Positive People Network

  • Prevention Access Campaign, a program of fiscal sponsor Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs

  • Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV/AIDS

  • The Center for Black Health & Equity

  • The Community Health & Empowerment Network, Inc.

  • The Community Wellness Project

  • The Knights & Orchids Society

  • Transforming Re-Entry Services

  • WeCareTN

To learn more about the Risk to Reasons initiative, read “Retire the Word ‘Risk’ When Talking About HIV and Black Women.” To learn more about HIV and this population, see the POZ Basics on African Americans. And for a collection of articles about ViiV Healthcare, including its long-acting injectable PrEP and its presentation of Latino-themed HIV stories, Love in Gravity, at the 2022 U.S. Conference on HIV/AIDS, click #ViiV Healthcare.