Seven of the top 10 states with the highest rates of HIV diagnoses are in the South. To help the region meet challenges of fighting the epidemic, AIDS United launched the Southern REACH initiative a decade ago. This month, 23 organizations were awarded a total of $1.4 million in funding, according to a press release from AIDS United.

With funding from the Ford Foundation, the AIDS United Southern REACH (Regional Expansion of Access and Capacity to Address HIV/AIDS) grantees battle HIV using an intersectional approach. Specifically, they address issues such as education, racism, social justice, housing, stigma, homophobia and poverty that intersect with HIV. For example, some grantees expand legal services regarding HIV criminalization as well as housing and employment discrimination.

“It’s clear that we need to work together across movements to strengthen our collective efforts to advance equity and social justice,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, in the press release. “I believe that Southern REACH, a program that we have supported for over 10 years, is a galvanizing force in the region. We are proud to support those in the vanguard of the struggle, especially in the American South where discrimination and harmful laws and policies are so pervasive.”


The 2017 Southern REACH grantees include:

  • AIDS Alabama—Birmingham, Alabama
  • Basic NWFL, Inc.—Panama City, Florida
  • Birmingham AIDS Outreach Inc.—Birmingham, Alabama
  • BreakOUT!/ Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs—New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Counter Narrative Project—Atlanta, Georgia
  • Duke Health Justice Clinic—Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI) — Durham, North Carolina
  • Equality Florida Institute Inc.—St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Equality Foundation of Georgia—Atlanta, Georgia
  • Frontline Legal Services Inc.—New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Latino Commission on AIDS Inc.—Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Legacy Community Health Services Inc.—Houston, Texas
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont—Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Mississippi Center for Justice—Jackson, Mississippi
  • My Brother’s Keeper—Ridgeland, Mississippi
  • Nashville CARES Inc.—Nashville, Tennessee
  • North Carolina AIDS Action Network—Raleigh, North Carolina 
  • North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition Inc. (NCHRC)—Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Racial Justice Action Center—East Point, Georgia
  • Rural Women’s Health Project—Gainesville, Florida
  • SisterLove Inc.—Atlanta, Georgia
  • South Carolina HIV Task Force—Ridgeland, South Carolina
  • Southern AIDS Coalition—Birmingham, Alabama
  • Southerners On New Ground—Atlanta, Georgia

To read more about HIV in the South and to get inspired by 100 advocates making a change in that region, read the 2016 POZ 100.