New AIDS United initiative set to target HIV stigma in the U.S. South

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According to the CDC, the number of adults and adolescents living with an AIDS diagnosis is highest in the South, accounting for over 40% of all diagnoses nationwide. GLAAD amplifies the stories of those most intimately impacted by HIV and AIDS, most recently through our Southern Stories program. Now, a new initiative is positively impacting the HIV and AIDS policy environment in the South and reducing the disparities in HIV-related health outcomes.

With support from the Ford Foundation, AIDS United, an organization dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic in the United States, is launching a new support initiative entitled Southern REACH (Regional Expansion of Access and Capacity to Address HIV and AIDS), an initiative that will provide grant support to those who combat HIV and AIDS and serve effected populations in many Southern states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Given the stigma faced by those living with HIV and AIDS in the South, Southern REACH will seek to empower people and organizations in the South by financially aiding them in raising their voices in the fight to end HIV and AIDS. REACH will also help promote and shape public policy initiatives led by community-based organizations, advocacy coalitions, and other allies in the US South.

For more information on the initiative, application, or review process, visit

GLAAD got its start in the midst of the AIDS crisis of the 1980, fighting back against defamatory coverage of people living with HIV. Since then, we have actively sought to lift up and magnify the voices of those working for greater awareness and acceptance of people living with HIV by highlighting campaigns such as those run by the National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day and AIDS United. As a part of GLAAD's ongoing commitment to prevention and treatment for people living with HIV, GLAAD recently released "HIV & AIDS in the news: A guide for reporting in a new era of prevention & treatment" as a resource for news media outlets to assist in fairly, inclusively, and accurately telling the story of people living with HIV in the United States.