The Ford Foundation launched a $25 million initiative for locations and groups with high HIV/AIDS rates, which include the District of Columbia and nine Southern states, as well as African Americans, Latinos and women nationwide.

Many of these communities rank the lowest in federal funds spent on people living with HIV/AIDS, including prevention and treatment access.

The foundation will disburse $5 million a year for the next five years to organizations that fight stigma, expand effective AIDS responses from federal and state governments, and educate policymakers and the public about how HIV disproportionately affects certain communities.

“This initiative aims not only to help stop the spread of HIV, but also to address the stigma and discrimination that allowed the epidemic to grow in these communities in the first place,” said Luis A. Ubinas, president of the Ford Foundation.