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2012 Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care

Deadline: 11:59 pm US EST on May 1, 2012

April 23, 2012

First Prize: $25,000 & full support for one organizational representative to attend the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, USA


AIDS United invites non-profit organizations, both within and outside of the United States (US), to apply for the Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care. Thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there are far too many people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who are unable to access or stay retained in medical care that can improve or extend their lives. According to a recent article in Clinical Infectious Diseases, only 19% of those living with HIV/AIDS in the US are engaged and retained in medical care in a way that leads to an undetectable viral load. Globally, the World Health Organization reports that only 6.65 million people (out of 34 million) are receiving antiretroviral therapies, representing just 19% of the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. If we are to reach an end to AIDS we must do better to ensure that people are fully engaged and retained in HIV care. We believe that there are innovative strategies being used every day in communities around the world to improve access to care - strategies that have not been replicated or brought to scale. As a funder and policy leader, we know that innovation is needed to promote new solutions for persistent problems and barriers to care. This award will provide an opportunity for organizations around the world to demonstrate innovative strategies and share them with their global peers.


Award Information

AIDS United will recognize the awardee and their innovative access and retention strategy with a $25,000 USD cash prize in unrestricted funding and the opportunity to attend the XIX International AIDS Conference. The awardee will share their story and strategy with the HIV/AIDS community and public health field at a reception in their honor. The awardee will be provided with airfare, lodging, per diem, and conference registration for one representative.


The HIV/AIDS community has a more complex and deeper understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the effects that declining engagement in care can have, most notably increased likelihood of illness, death, and transmission of HIV to others. With the XIX International AIDS Conference being held in the US for the first time in over 20 years, there is an opportunity for US leaders to support shared learning from colleagues across the globe about innovative strategies and approaches that have made a difference. The theme for this year's conference is "Turning the Tide Together." Now more than any other time in the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is understood that having access to adequate medical care and treatment is critical to "turning the tide." Recent studies that demonstrate significant decreases in transmission of HIV to partners among those who are on treatment and are virally suppressed (96%) provide new hope for ending the pandemic. However, significant barriers continue to exist for PLWHA's ability to access, engage, and be retained in care. Innovative strategies such as peer treatment adherence community support groups, nurse-led medical models, and volunteer community health navigators have been used to address access to care in many different settings. AIDS United has created this Innovative Strategy Award to highlight effective, low-cost, and scalable innovations to begin the end of AIDS.

Innovative Strategy

Successful applicants will clearly describe the innovative strategy that has led to greater access, engagement, and retention in care for PLWHA. In order to demonstrate success, applicants must provide evidence of change and success as a result of implementing their innovative strategies (e.g., when possible please provide measurable outcomes such as number of people accessing antiretroviral treatments, or number of people with an undetectable viral load). We value novel approaches that integrate strategies from intersecting health fields into the HIV/AIDS field. Innovative strategies that are not heavily dependent upon significant resources are of particular interest, as many organizations and communities are facing diminishing resources both in the US and globally. Finally, we look for solutions that can be brought to scale and applied broadly across a range of communities.

The selection committee will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria (in order of importance):

  1. Clearly described innovative strategy that has led to greater access, engagement, and retention in care for PLWHA
  2. Evidence of the innovative strategy success based on measureable outcomes
  3. Ability to scale up a strategy without significant financial resources
  4. Input or involvement of target communities in developing the innovative strategy

Who Can Apply/Eligibility

NGOs globally. No individuals or government entities.


Access to care: is the ability of PLWHA to obtain health care services to address HIV/AIDS and achieve the best possible health outcome.

Innovation: is the creation of better or more effective services, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by the target population and result in improved outcomes or performance. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

Evidence (of strategy success): increased number of people accessing antiretroviral treatments, increased number of people seeing an HIV provider at least twice a year, and/or an increased number of people with an undetectable viral load.

Scale: expansion, replication, or adaptation of an idea, strategy, or program to serve more people and/or new populations.

Required Documents

(Entire application must be completed in English)

  1. AIDS United 2012 Innovative Strategy Award for Access and Retention in HIV/AIDS Care Application Form
  2. Application Narrative
  3. Proof of 501 (c) 3 status (United States), or proof that the applicant is a registered or recognized non-governmental organization (NGO)
  4. Letter of support from at least one outside community partner or funder


  • An external selection committee of experts will review applications
  • Finalists may receive follow-up communication/questions

    • Decision will be made by June 2012
  • Winner will be announced publicly at the XIX International AIDS Conference

Submission Instructions:

The deadline for submitting your application is May 1, 2012 at 11:59pm EST US. Please answer all six questions listed in the Application Narrative in English, using a 12 point font and no more than 5 pages (exclusive of require attachments). All applications and attached materials must be emailed to, or faxed to: 202-408-1818 (international is 011-1-202-408-1818) .

Late applications or applications with missing components will not be accepted.

No phone calls please.

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This article was provided by AIDS United. Visit AIDS United's website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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