NEW YORK, 2 June 2010 — The Ford Foundation today announced a $25 million effort to fight the disproportionate yet largely hidden impact of HIV/AIDS on marginalized communities in the United States.
The initiative will target the District of Columbia and nine states in the South that rank among the highest in new AIDS cases. It will also support efforts to address the spread of HIV among African Americans, women and Latinos. The effort will build upon investments made by Ford over the past several years to address the impact of HIV in these communities and to fight the discrimination that allows the epidemic to spread. It is informed by decades of Ford work tackling difficult human rights issues facing highly marginalized communities.
The South accounted for almost half (46 percent) of new AIDS cases in the United States in 2007 and has the greatest number of people estimated to be living with AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also in 2007, racial and ethnic minorities represented seven-in-ten (71 percent) of new AIDS cases and AIDS deaths (70 percent). Today, women represent a larger share of new HIV infections than they did earlier in the epidemic, with some 280,000 living with HIV or AIDS. Black women bear the brunt of this impact, accounting for nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of new AIDS cases among women, and having a prevalence rate 18 times that of white women.
At the same time, most of these communities have among the lowest levels of access to resources designed to prevent and treat the disease. The South, for example, consistently ranks at or near the bottom in terms of federal dollars spent on HIV-infected populations. (full text).