-- New Initiative Mobilizes Local Communities to Implement
FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2017--
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) today announced the launch of the
Gilead COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership
in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern
States) Initiative, a 10-year, $100
million commitment to support organizations working to address the
HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States. Gilead will partner
with three coordinating centers to lead the corporate giving program of
the initiative: Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, the
University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the Southern
AIDS Coalition. These coordinating centers will identify and provide
funding to local organizations that are committed to addressing the
epidemic throughout the region, focusing on capacity building and shared
knowledge; wellbeing, mental health and trauma-informed care; and
awareness, education and anti-stigma campaigns.
“HIV/AIDS remains an urgent public health crisis in the United States
and this is particularly apparent in the Southern states where rates of
new infection rival those seen in the 1980s. In some communities, those
rates are actually rising – a chilling reminder that the epidemic is far
from a thing of the past,” said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President,
Corporate and Medical Affairs, Gilead Sciences. “We recognize a
collaborative effort is needed and we are very pleased to partner with
local organizations that are uniquely positioned to address the epidemic
on the ground.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the
Southern United States accounts for approximately 45 percent of all
people living with an HIV diagnosis in the country, despite being home
to only one third of the population.1,2 Nearly half of all
people dying from HIV/AIDS in the United States live in a Southern state.3
HIV disproportionally affects Latinos; transgender women; Black women;
and Black gay and bisexual men, in part due to stigma, poverty, lack of
access to healthcare and racial inequality.4 Of all Black gay
and bisexual men who were diagnosed with HIV in the United States in
2014, more than 60 percent live in a Southern state.
“Limited access to healthcare and information about life-saving advances
in HIV treatment and prevention in the most vulnerable communities
creates an environment where we, as a society, have the tools in hand to
improve lives, but these resources are not being fully utilized to
address the epidemic,” said Dr. Charlene Flash, Assistant Professor of
Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Baylor College of Medicine.
“We must take action and apply these resources to overcome this
challenge as too many vulnerable people in the South cannot access, or
worse still, are unaware of the existing life-saving tools to prevent
and treat HIV.”
About the Gilead COMPASS Initiative
The Gilead COMPASS Initiative is a $100 million commitment over 10 years
in the Southern United States supporting organizations working to
address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The corporate giving program of the
initiative has a threefold mission: to build capacity and increase
knowledge sharing among community-based, underfunded organizations in
Southern states; to explore interventions that appropriately respond to
patients’ needs, including the bundling or reframing of mental health
care, as well as the intersection between substance use, the opioid
epidemic and HIV/AIDS; and to fund awareness and anti-stigma campaigns.
Through this initiative, Gilead plans to dramatically increase the reach
of these organizations working to address the epidemic in the region,
and ultimately to improve the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS.
About Gilead’s Commitment in HIV
For nearly 30 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of
HIV, driving advances in treatment, prevention, testing and linkage to
care and cure research. In further efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic,
Gilead is conducting early-stage clinical research to identify novel
agents and strategies that could play a role in eradicating HIV
infection in the body.
Gilead’s corporate giving program aims to reduce disparities, provide
access, advance education and support local communities. In 2016,
Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) recognized Gilead as the leading
corporate global funder of HIV/AIDS programs, and second overall behind
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops
and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical
need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering
from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 30
countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s
website at www.gilead.com,
follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences)
or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
1 CDC. HIV in the United States by Geographic Distribution.
Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/geographicdistribution.html.
Accessed: November 11, 2017.
2 United States Census Bureau. Annual Estimate of the
Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015. Available at: https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=PEP_2014_PEPANNRES&src=pt.
Accessed: November 14, 2017.
3 CDC. HIV in the Southern United States. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/policies/cdc-hiv-in-the-south-issue-brief.pdf.
Accessed: November 13, 2017.
4 Valdiserri RO. HIV/AIDS Stigma: An Impediment to Public
Health. Am J Public Health. 2002;92(3):341–34.
Quotes from Coordinating Centers
Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health:
Capacity building and shared knowledge.
“Community-based organizations faced with diminishing long-term
financial resources and increased community needs are challenged to ‘do
more with less,’” said Candace Meadows, Project Director, Emory COMPASS
Coordinating Center. “The Emory center will support organizations to
enhance organizational capacity, operational efficiencies and their
ability to secure resources that positively impact communities with
The University of Houston Graduate College of
Social Work: Wellbeing, mental health and trauma-informed care.
“We’re grateful for this opportunity to fight such an important, yet
challenging, fight,” said Samira Ali, Project Director and Assistant
Professor, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. “As
part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative, the University of Houston is
committed to addressing HIV/AIDS disparities. By using a
community-centered approach, we’ll mobilize people to be part of the
The Southern AIDS Coalition: Awareness, education
and anti-stigma campaigns.
“We can end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States,” said
Nicholas Carlisle, Executive Director, Southern AIDS Coalition. “To do
so will require broad, cross-sector collaboration where all stakeholders
coordinate efforts, share best practices and leverage scarce resources
in innovative and unprecedented ways.”
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Source: Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Sung Lee, 650-524-7792