ViiV Healthcare announced today it will award six new grants designed to help improve the lives of young people living with HIV through its Positive Action for Youth program. The program, which builds on ViiV Healthcare’s ongoing youth-focused programming and outreach, is a two-year, $1 million grant commitment in U.S. mentorship programs for youth aged 13–24 living with HIV as they enter and begin to navigate adult care.
Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that youth living with HIV in the U.S. have gaps in care due to a lack of knowledge and skills to maneuver through the HIV care continuum, where it is estimated that approximately one-third of youth did not link to care within one month of HIV diagnosis — the lowest rate for any age group.1
Mentorship programs may help youth (as young as 13 years) begin to develop the skills including health literacy, confidence and self-efficacy needed to successfully manage their own healthcare as adults.2,3 “Positive Action for Youth is a testament to our long-standing commitment to help improve health outcomes for young people living with HIV,” said Ashley Mahoney, senior manager, External Affairs, and Positive Action for Youth program lead, ViiV Healthcare. “We are proud to support organizations dedicating programs for young people living with HIV and look forward to seeing their outcomes over the next two years.”
The Positive Action for Youth program aims to increase youth mentorship services and fulfill a critical unmet need for youth living with HIV. Five organizations receiving funding through the program are developing new or expanding existing mentorship programs that support youth living with HIV to successfully enter adult care. The program will also support one organization that will lead the design and facilitation of a toolkit and guide about youth mentorship best practices.
The following organizations will receive up to $100,000 per year for a provisional commitment over the next two years:
Direct Mentorship Grantees:
Abounding Prosperity – Project BEST/TEST, Dallas, TX: Support to pilot a one-on-one mentoring project for young men who have sex with men (MSM) and male-to-female transgender youth of color living with HIV aged 14–24. The project will train mentors to help youth develop goals to increase engagement in care and sustainable HIV treatment regimens and address medical and nonmedical barriers to care.
AIDS Alabama – Living Out Loud, Birmingham, AL: Support to pilot a mentoring project for youth aged 13–24 living with HIV. The mentors will provide support in medical adherence, self-advocacy, financial planning skills and job or college readiness while increasing access to transportation, mental health services and housing assistance.
Center on Halsted – Positive Directions, Chicago, IL: Support to pilot three six-week drop-in sessions for youth living with HIV aged 13–24. The program will train Youth Health Promoters to develop and manage the drop-in sessions, which will focus on helping youth develop the self-management skills needed to engage and stay in long-term adult care.
National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities – nSPIRE, Atlanta, GA: Support for an existing one-on-one mentoring project for African-American MSM living with HIV aged 16–24. The mentors will focus on positive living, engaging in care and achieving life goals by providing ongoing support, insights, guidance and access to resources, including mental health services.
RAIN, Inc. – Empowering Positive Youth, Charlotte, NC: Support for the expansion and enhancement of a tiered mentoring project for youth living with HIV aged 13–24. Peer Navigators will mentor Youth Navigators in development skills, while the Youth Navigators will mentor a small group of youth leaders to better serve youth living with HIV to enter and engage in their care.
Design Lead Grantee:
Advocates for Youth – Washington, DC: Support to build and disseminate a toolkit and guide in collaboration with Direct Mentorship Services grantees to address topics for youth living with HIV entering adult care. Potential topics include: social determinants of health, unique issues and concerns of the youth experience, meaningful youth-adult partnerships and youth-centric models used by the non-HIV community to support youth living with HIV in entering an adult standard of care.
“Youth remain disproportionately impacted by HIV and that needs to change,” said Positive Action for Youth External Review Committee member Justin Rush, J.D., director of public policy, True Colors Fund. “I’m confident that the grantees selected through Positive Action for Youth will address unmet needs that will have sustainable impact in the lives of youth living with HIV and their communities.”
For more information about ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action programs, visit: https://us.viivhealthcare.com/making-a-difference.aspx.
About Positive Action
Positive Action was created in 1992 as the first pharmaceutical company program to support communities affected by HIV and AIDS. ViiV Healthcare is proud to continue the Positive Action program and its valuable work with these communities. Positive Action works with those communities most vulnerable to HIV disease, including girls and women, sex workers, gay men, MSM, transgender people, injecting drug users (IDU), the homeless, the incarcerated and youth. Our projects range across education, prevention, care and treatment-related activity such as treatment literacy and community/clinical engagement.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV and for people who are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. Shionogi joined in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and innovative medicines for HIV treatment and prevention as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
U.S. Media Inquiries:
Marc Meachem (U.S.)
+1 919 949 3070
Cara Vivarelli-O’Neill (U.S.)
+1 919 614 6529
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Among Youth. Last updated April 7, 2017. Accessed June 14, 2017. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/age/youth/index.html.
- Heisler M. Building peer support programs to manage chronic disease: seven models for success. Published December 2006. Accessed June 14, 2017. Available at: www.chcf.org/~/media/MEDIA%20LIBRARY%20Files/PDF/PDF%20B/PDF%20BuildingPeerSupportPrograms.pdf.
- Greifinger R; National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. Improving engagement and retention in adult care settings for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth living with HIV. Published May 2012. Accessed June 14, 2017. Available at: http://www.nastad.org/sites/default/files/Guide-LGBTQ-for-Adult-Healthcare-Providers-05-2012.pdf.