Throughout 2016, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) awarded nearly $8.6 million in grants in the Americas and the Caribbean, according to an EJAF press release that highlighted the latest rounds of funding in December.

In December, 15 organizations fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic were awarded nearly $3.5 million in EJAF grants.

As the press release states, EJAF awards funding based on four strategic goals:

  • Health and wellness: Ensuring everyone living with or at risk of contracting HIV is healthy, safe, and has unfettered access to high-quality medical care and any other services they need to live fulfilling lives.

  • Rights: Ensuring people living with or at risk of HIV are treated fairly under the law. 

  • Quality of life: Ensuring people living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV have a high quality of life.

  • Resilience: Ensuring the individuals and organizations working on EJAF’s grant-making priorities have the resources and training they need to support their missions efficiently and effectively.

Below are highlights of EJAF’s December round of grants:

  • A new grant in southern Haiti supports crucially needed medical services for people with HIV/AIDS. This region was recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew, and this grantee, the St. Boniface Foundation, has been at the forefront of the response to this disaster. Other international investments include two new grants providing HIV-related services in Mexico and an advocacy effort across Latin American countries in response to the Global Fund’s withdrawal from middle-income countries.

  • Twenty-five grants totaling $1,398,000 in investments support organizations in the southern U.S. working across EJAF’s grant-making priorities, as well as targeted investments to build up the response to HIV/AIDS in rural areas, including rural West Virginia, Texas and Kentucky. 

  • Fifteen grants totaling $783,000 provide services and advocacy supporting LGBT communities, including LGBT Community Centers in New York; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Philadelphia. EJAF is also investing in efforts to mobilize LGBT individuals in Atlanta to become engaged as HIV/AIDS activists in their communities. A number of grants will support developing leadership skills in young LGBT people living with HIV.

  • Seven grants totaling $305,000 support organizations led by and serving transgender communities in Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Bronx, New York. These programs help HIV-positive transgender people connect to medical treatment, train doctors and medical providers to increase sensitivity toward transgender people, and help transgender people facing injustice in the criminal justice system.

  • Three grants totaling $180,000 support programs providing legal counsel, medical care, and support services for people engaged in sex work.

  • Grants to ACT UP New York and SisterLove in Atlanta include campaigns to increase women’s access to PrEP, the once-per-day pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection.

  • Six grants totaling $170,000 support programs working with recently and formerly incarcerated HIV-positive people to help them rebuild their lives and remain on treatment after leaving prison or immigration detention. These programs, many led by LGBT people, also help organize the formerly or currently incarcerated to advocate for their health and rights.

  • Grants in North Carolina and Florida help launch the states’ first legal syringe exchange programs.

  • Ten grants totaling $520,000 address municipal- and state-level laws and policies affecting people living with HIV. One grant supports a national effort to address issues in the criminal justice system affecting LGBTQ and HIV-positive people. EJAF is also funding organizations working to challenge discriminatory laws, including the HB2 “bathroom” law in North Carolina through the Gavin Grimm Supreme Court case.