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Spotlight Series: HIV, the Gut and Digestive Issues
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AIDS United Sends Help to Puerto Rico

January 24, 2011

On January 12, AIDS United issued a press release announcing the award of "more than $255K to 10 community-based organizations for critical HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs targeting the U.S. territory's most affected populations, including substance users; intravenous drug users; gay and bisexual men; and women and girls. Other groups to be focused upon include those in high-risk situations, including domestic violence; commercial sex workers; incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals; and persons who are homeless.

With an HIV death rate nearly four times higher than the national rate, and ranking fourth in AIDS case rates among all U.S. states and territories in 2007, Puerto Rico has some of the most dire HIV/AIDS statistics in the United States. Funding from AIDS United will bolster capacity and build the local leadership of community-based organizations to provide vital HIV/AIDS prevention services.

"Puerto Rico's alarming HIV/AIDS statistics are only exacerbated by the limited availability and underfunded array of community-based HIV prevention and education outreach services," said Vignetta Charles, PhD, AIDS United Vice President of Programs and Evaluation. "With a $3.2 billion budget gap in 2009, a Fiscal State of Emergency declared by Puerto Rico's governor, and rising unemployment rates in Puerto Rico, HIV/AIDS risk and the demand for public health services will only increase in the future. It is our moral responsibility as HIV/AIDS grantmakers to do everything we can to ensure the continued viability of the few outstanding community agencies that are persevering in this incredibly challenging environment."

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This article was provided by Positively Aware. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
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