To mark World AIDS Day, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today
announced 16 grants totaling $3.5 million for programs in Africa that
strengthen HIV services for adolescents and the elderly, raise awareness
and access to health care for women co-diagnosed with HIV and breast or
cervical cancer, and build community capacity and integrate treatment
for HIV/tuberculosis (TB) co-infection.
The grants, both new and extensions for ongoing programs, were awarded
through the Foundation’s landmark Secure the Future®
initiative, which brings community-based care and support to people with
living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Since its launch in 1999, Secure
the Future has awarded more than $183 million in grants to more than
“The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation joins with our existing and new
partners to continue working toward a world that is free of HIV,” says
John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “Through these
grants, the Foundation and its partners are helping to ensure that
HIV-positive youth and the elderly in Africa continue to receive
much-needed care and support, and that women who are co-infected with
HIV and cervical or breast cancer have information and access to
potentially lifesaving screening and treatment. In addition, given the
close correlation between HIV infection and TB, it is essential that we
work with our partners to continue strengthening community programs and
approaches that integrate both diseases.”
Adolescents and the elderly
Adolescents in Africa often have difficulty accessing treatment for HIV
and other health and psychosocial services. In addition, stigma and
other barriers result in many youth being lost to care even before
beginning treatment or immediately after testing positive for HIV.
Africa also has a growing population of elderly people who are
HIV-positive as a result of greater access to antiretroviral therapies
and a general increase in the aging population. This trend has
implications for policy, planning and practice. Most research and data
have focused on the effects of the epidemic on children, youth and
prime-age adults, but there is a need for studies that investigate
patients 50 and older.
Grants for programs that address care and support of adolescents living
with HIV will be implemented by Children’s Radio Project, South Africa;
Sinomlando Project, South Africa; and AfricAid Zvandiri, Zimbabwe.
Studies of HIV prevention practices among adults 50 and older and
HIV/cancer co-infection among the elderly will be implemented by the
University of Cape Town’s Institute of Ageing in Africa and Catholic
University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania.
HIV and Female Cancers
In sub-Saharan Africa, cervical and breast cancers are the leading
causes of cancer death among women. The rate of cervical cancer among
women living with HIV is three times higher than those who are not
HIV-positive, primarily because of co-infection with the human
papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical and other gynecological
cancers. An estimated 60% to 80% of women in sub-Saharan Africa who are
living with HIV are infected with HPV. The Bristol-Myers Squibb
Foundation and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), a global partnership
fighting women’s cancers, have been working together to reduce the rate
of female cancers among women who are co-infected with HIV.
Eight organizations have received grants that will continue to build
knowledge about HIV and cancer, increase HIV/cervical/breast cancer
screening and diagnosis efforts and strengthen the Foundation’s
collaboration with PRRR. Programs will be implemented by Tanzania Youth
Alliance; Medical Women Association of Tanzania; Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network,
Tanzania; Tanzania Marketing and Communications; Mathiwos
Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society, Ethiopia; Doctors With Africa CUAMM,
Tanzania; Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force, South Africa;
and Forum for African Women Educationalists Swaziland Chapter.
HIV and Tuberculosis
In countries with high levels of HIV, such as those in sub-Saharan
Africa, about 80% of people with TB also have HIV. Globally, TB is among
the deadliest diseases and a leading killer of people living with HIV.
Since it was launched in 1999, the Foundation’s Secure the Future
initiative has been committed to helping patients with TB who also have
HIV. For the past three years, the Foundation has been collaborating
with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global TB Program on
ENGAGE-TB, a program to strengthen community-based care for patients who
have TB and for those co-infected with HIV.
Grants to partners who are building capacity within communities for
integrated HIV/TB screening, diagnosis and treatment will be implemented
by Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Association, Ethiopia;
National University of Lesotho Consuls Unit; and Grassroots Poverty
Alleviation Program, Kenya.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce
health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker
capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive
services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.
For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please
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