Gulf Coast HIV/AIDS Relief Fund

While the devastation from hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita has affected all residents of the Gulf Coast region in some way, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and population groups viewed as being most at risk for HIV/AIDS remain particularly vulnerable and in need of support. For that reason, ensuring the capacity of community-based organizations in the region to provide high-quality HIV/AIDS prevention and care services is a critical public health matter.

Based on state health department data, more than 21,000 people living with HIV/AIDS resided in the affected counties of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi prior to hurricane Katrina, with nearly 7,400 living in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Immediately following the storm, the National AIDS Fund established the Katrina HIV/AIDS Emergency Fund and awarded over $100,000 in grants to organizations in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to provide emergency services to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS who had been displaced by the storm. Soon thereafter, the National AIDS Fund partnered with the Ford Foundation to make additional funds available to address infrastructure and policy issues in the region.

Through the Gulf Coast HIV/AIDS Relief Fund and in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the National AIDS Fund has awarded two rounds of grants totaling nearly $1.2 million to community-based organizations in the southern and central areas of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi that were directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. Grants support general operating capacity, technical assistance to strengthen organizations and planning, and public policy advocacy. The following agencies are current grantees through the Gulf Coast HIV/AIDS Relief Fund:

• AIDS Services Coalition, Hattiesburg, MS
• AIDSLaw of Louisiana, Inc., New Orleans, LA
• Community Service Center, Inc., New Orleans, LA
• Concerned Citizens For A Better Algiers, Inc., New Orleans, LA
• Grace House, Jackson, MS
• In This Together, New Orleans, LA
• Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies, New Orleans, LA
• Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network, New Orleans, LA
• N’R PEACE, Inc., New Orleans, LA
• Shelter Resources, Inc., New Orleans, LA
• South Alabama CARES, Mobile, AL
• South Mississippi AIDS Task Force, Inc., Biloxi, MS
• St. John #5 Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA
• Women with a Vision, New Orleans, LA

The National AIDS Fund is committed to assisting with the long-term recovery and building of effective HIV/AIDS service systems in the Gulf Coast states. To that end, while continuing to seek national resources for the region, we are also currently working with key individuals and organizations across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to support statewide, collaborative leadership development and the engagement of local philanthropy to address HIV/AIDS.