Katherine Campbell Nagler
Response to Nov. 3 article – Donors to Gay Causes Consider The Next Steps
Draft Two: November 24, 2014

Letter to the Editor
Chronicle on Philanthropy

I was surprised there was no mention of HIV/AIDS in Avi Wolfman-Arent’s article, “Donors to Gay Causes Consider The Next Steps.”  (http://philanthropy.com/article/Donors-to-Gay-Causes-Consider/149811/) While I understand it is “on the list” for some donors, the absence of a collective strategy to address HIV, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is disturbing.

HIV/AIDS continues to be a very real threat faced by the LGBTQ community, especially young gay, bisexual and trans women. Even though the LGBTQ community only represents 2 percent of the national population, a tragic 56 percent of those living with HIV in the United States are gay and bisexual men. Worse still, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24) account for 72 percent of new HIV infections in that age group. 

Now more than ever donors, especially donors to gay causes, should be insisting HIV health be the centerpiece of any LGBT health funding efforts. Let’s get back to work finding ways to educate young gay men about treatment as prevention regimens such as PrEP and building new methods for service delivery to encourage more to seek out and stay in care.

The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis recently renewed its commitment to ending HIV in Indiana with the largest round of grants ever awarded at one time for HIV services in the state. These grants are designated to expand HIV testing for high risk populations, better integrate high-quality HIV care into the primary healthcare setting, and improve retention rates for HIV care and treatment.

With more support from individual donors and private funders like The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis and collaborations with public health care systems, we can renew the important work started in the 1980s and mobilize the resources needed to lower new infection rates in the LGTBQ community. While advances in medicine has resulted in a near-normal life expectancy, we must treat HIV/AIDS like the epidemic it still is.

Sincerely,

Katherine Campbell Nagler
Director of Advocacy
The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis


 

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