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Syringe Access Fund Awards Nearly $2 Million In Grants For Syringe Exchange And Related Public Policy Improvement
 
 
 
 
Washington, D.C. - February 3, 2010 - The Syringe Access Fund (SAF), a collaborative funding initiative of the Irene Diamond Fund, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation and the National AIDS Fund, announced the award of 46 grants totaling nearly $2 million for SAF's Round Six Grant Cycle, which runs through 2011.
 
The country's largest private supporter of syringe exchange programs (SEPs), the Syringe Access Fund was created in 2004 to support syringe exchange and public policy activities to reduce the risk of HIV infection, hepatitis C and other blood-borne pathogens among injection drug users and their sexual partners through expanded access to sterile syringes. To date, the SAF has awarded more than $8.5 million.
 
The newly funded programs reflect a diversity of locations, populations and approaches, prioritizing underserved communities and areas of the United States with high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and injection drug use. A list of grantees is at the end of this press release.
 
Conclusive scientific evidence has shown that SEPs can significantly reduce transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other bloodborne illnesses, without promoting drug use. All of the SAF partners remain committed to ensuring these programs continue to exist and have ongoing impact to halt HIV transmission in our most vulnerable communities.
 
The recent lifting of the ban on federal funding for SEPs does not eliminate the need for private sector resources or public sector responsibility for integrating SEPs into comprehensive HIV and hepatitis C prevention strategies. There is still a need to ensure that federal and state resources begin to flow, and that state and local policymakers address policy barriers that impede the implementation of programs at a community level.
 
About the Funding Partners
 
IRENE DIAMOND FUND

The Irene Diamond Fund, established in 1994 by the late philanthropist Irene Diamond, has an interest in HIV/AIDS, human rights and the performing arts. The foundation, based in New York City, supports a limited number of self-selected projects, and since its inception has provided over $55 million in funding to combat HIV/AIDS.
 
ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established in the United States in 1992 (EJAF-US) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 (EJAF-UK) by founder and chairman Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised over $175 million to support HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. EJAF-US's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents.
 
LEVI STRAUSS FOUNDATION
Established in 1952, the Levi Strauss Foundation provides grants to community-based organizations working to create meaningful social change in places where Levi Strauss & Co. has a business presence. Among the first funders to respond to HIV/AIDS in 1985, the Foundation has awarded over $40 million to support Syringe Exchange and advocacy efforts to address the epidemic in more than 50 countries around the world.
 
THE NATIONAL AIDS FUND
The National AIDS Fund's (NAF) mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS by promoting leadership and generating resources for effective community responses. Through its network of Community Partnerships, NAF promotes local planning and provides grants and technical support to as many as 400 service organizations annually. Since 1988, NAF and its partners have invested over $160 million to combat HIV/AIDS.
 
For more information on the Syringe Access Fund, contact Michael Rhein, NAF Director of Programs, at mrhein@aidsfund.org, or by calling 202-408-4848 ext 218.
 

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