The 2023 POZ 100 C–F

Introduction | A-B | C-F | G-M | N-Q | R-Z

Cascade AIDS Project

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The Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) is the oldest and largest community-based provider of HIV services, education, housing and advocacy in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The nonprofit helps people living with HIV access essential medical care and secure housing and offers peer support and other free services, including health insurance navigation, HIV and STI testing and linkage to PrEP. Children living with and/or affected by HIV and AIDS can attend CAP’s Camp KC, a free weeklong overnight camp supported by numerous donors and about 50 volunteers with a background in mental health, social work or psychology. CAP’s Aging Well program is aimed at supporting long-term survivors and other adults aging with HIV. CAP recently helped write Oregon House Bill 2574, the first-ever legislation in the nation that clears barriers to emergency PEP for HIV prevention.

Center for Black Health & Equity

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The Center for Black Health & Equity (The Center) is a North Carolina–based nonprofit that facilitates programs and services to benefit communities and people of African descent. The Center advocates for equity-centered policies to address the social and economic injustices that have given rise to the health disparities experienced by African Americans, especially concerning tobacco control, COVID-19, HIV and AIDS, women’s health, cancer and mental health. It supports anti-stigma campaigns and programs that educate African Americans about HIV testing, treatment and living well with HIV. The Center provides consulting, training and technical assistance and connections to expert speakers for talks and keynote speeches. In September, the Center hosted its State of Black Health conference in Puerto Rico, where hundreds of community leaders and equity advocates gathered to brainstorm ways to achieve health justice and equity.

Center for HIV Law and Policy

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The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP) is a national resource and strategy center focused on laws and policies that are guided by racial, gender and economic justice. It works to end stigma, discrimination and violence toward people living with and affected by HIV, notably via its Positive Justice Project, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to end HIV criminalization. CHLP teaches people about the HIV-specific statutes on the books in their state as well as how to fight for their right to privacy. CHLP also advocates for policies that guarantee comprehensive LGBTQ-affirming sexual health care for youth in government-operated and -regulated facilities. 

Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus

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Founded in 2005, the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus is the city’s only organization that focuses exclusively on improving the health of Black gay, bi and same-gender-loving (GBSGL) men. One of the group’s programs is The Prosperity Project, which was developed to improve representation by GBSGL men in local community planning efforts as well as their experience with health care and support services. The group hosts the Mind, Body and Soul Health and Wellness Circle, which is accessible via a mobile app and supports efforts to engage GBSGL men in a range of health-related services. Other programming includes group exercise classes, yoga, massage therapy and nutrition and cooking classes. It also hosts LoveFest, an annual edutainment festival during which attendees can access free health and wellness resources, including HIV and STI testing.

Community Health PIER

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Founded by brother-and-sister duo Cedric and Gloria Sturdevant, Community Health PIER (Prevention, Intervention, Education & Research) is dedicated to achieving health equity in rural Mississippi communities by offering individuals numerous tools and resources to help them make better-informed health choices. Using a holistic, hands-on approach to health, the nonprofit organizes community health walks, hosts educational events and trains individuals in agriculture via community gardens. Services it offers include HIV education, prevention and rapid testing as well as breast and heart health awareness. Sadly, Gloria died this past August.

Cooperative Health HIV Program

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Based in Columbia, South Carolina, the Cooperative Health HIV Program provides the full continuum of health care services for men and women, infants, children and youth. Thanks to funding from Ryan White Parts C and D, clients receive comprehensive, compassionate and affordable health care services in a confidential family-centered setting. Services include transportation, behavioral health counseling, housing support, medical case management, access to PrEP and PEP, dental care, nutritional support, emergency financial assistance and more. As proof of its commitment to the UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 targets (90% of people know their status, 90% of those are on treatment and 90% of those are undetectable), by 2019, Cooperative Health had linked 96% of its HIV patients to care.

The Denver Principles

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In 1983, a group of people living with HIV gathered at the Fifth Annual National Lesbian and Gay Health Conference in Denver and drafted a revolutionary document now known as The Denver Principles. The manifesto condemned attempts to label people living with AIDS (PLWAs) as “victims.” It outlined the rights of PLWAs as well as recommendations for health care professionals and all others. The Denver Principles demanded that PLWAs be involved in every level of decision-making regarding their health care. The principles launched the self-empowerment movement and are as relevant today as they were in the ’80s.

Eagle Pass SAFE

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Eagle Pass SAFE (Sexuality Advocacy for Everyone) is an LGBTQ resource center located in Eagle Pass, a town on the southwest Texas border. It’s the only organization in the rural area providing HIV prevention and LGBTQ-affirming services. Its mission is “to build visibility as a social group, build a stronger community and to celebrate diversity and gender variance.” The small-community based group offers 24/7 crisis counseling and provides a guide of LGBTQ-inclusive businesses in the area. It also sponsors the region’s annual Pride event and operates a donation center.

EDGE New Jersey

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The mission of EDGE (End Discrimination. Gain Equality) New Jersey is to respond compassionately and responsibly to those living with and at risk for HIV as well as members of the LGBTQ community. To that end, it provides many supportive services that not only link individuals to care but also help them stay in care. EDGE also offers an array of HIV prevention services, such as HIV and STI education and counseling, mobile HIV testing, free condom distribution and access to PEP and PrEP. Plus, Edge hosts numerous LGBTQ support groups for various age groups as well as groups for long-term survivors and those newly diagnosed with HIV.

Eisenhower HIV Program

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The HIV Program at Eisenhower Health provides comprehensive HIV primary care and offers clinical, research and educational resources for people living with and at risk for HIV in California’s Coachella Valley. Eisenhower uses advances in HIV treatment to sustain the best possible quality of life for those in its care. Eisenhower frequently collaborates with other local nonprofits at regional events to provide HIV-related resources, educational materials and referrals. This December, the Eisenhower Health Inaugural HIV Interprofessional Symposium will provide education and training to health care professionals to better address the health care needs of people living with HIV.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

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Founded in 1988 by Elizabeth Glaser and friends after Glaser’s daughter, Ariel, died of AIDS-related causes—Glaser herself died of the disease in 1994—the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has become a proven leader in the global fight to end HIV and AIDS and advocates for every child to live a full and healthy life. With its expertise in service delivery, capacity building, research and advocacy, the nonprofit is a leader in meeting the urgent needs of children with HIV in the world’s most affected regions. It has helped reduce new HIV infections in children in the United States by more than 95% and by more than half in children globally.

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

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Hollywood legend and influential early AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991 to provide direct care to the most vulnerable people living with AIDS. The ever-evolving nonprofit recently launched the “Stuck in the 1980s” campaign, which asks members of the community to demand that legislators revisit laws (many of them passed in the ’80s) that criminalize HIV based on outdated science and assumptions. The group’s largest share of funding supports youth HIV education and prevention efforts, especially in the South. The nonprofit also funds mental health and wellness programs for U.S. women living with HIV, the Elizabeth Taylor 50+ Network at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and mobile clinics in Malawi. Taylor’s grandchildren carry on her legacy by serving as ambassadors for the foundation.

Elton John AIDS Foundation

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Launched in 1990 by the Rocket Man himself, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) makes a massive global impact. Its annual Academy Awards viewing party alone has raised over $90 million. In 2020, EJAF contributed $15 million to HIV causes, making it the fifth largest philanthropic funder of HIV programs that year. Registered as separate U.S. and U.K. entities but operating as one organization, EJAF funds programs and collaborates with local groups to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV, notably among youth, LGBTQ people and people who use drugs. Recently, EJAF collaborated with Walmart to train specialty pharmacists, and the foundation backed PrEP4All’s fight to launch a national PrEP program.

End HIV 901

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Shelby County, Tennessee, which includes Memphis, is identified as one of the priority counties in the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative. According to CDC data published in 2022,  82% of newly diagnosed individuals were linked to care within a month of their diagnosis. End HIV 901 is a collaborative effort intended to lower new HIV infection rates by 90% or more by 2030. Launched on social media in December 2020, End HIV 901 was awarded $12 million from the HHS Minority HIV/AIDS Fund. It has set up a community advisory board, which will issue grants to various local community groups focusing on four key strategies of the EHE’s A Plan for America: Diagnose, Treat, Prevent and Respond. The End HIV 901 website includes technical assistance for grant writing and a directory compiling HIV-related services and resources for other types of support throughout Shelby County.

Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.

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Launched in 2019 by President Donald Trump and coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services, the 10-year federal initiative Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) in the U.S. aims to reduce new HIV infections by 75% by 2025 and by 90% by 2030. This would amount to fewer than 3,000 new HIV cases a year, according to the initiative, and would therefore meet the definition of ending the epidemic. The strategy is to focus federal HIV investments in the 57 key states, counties and cities that account for 50% of new HIV diagnoses. As we went to press, EHE’s future was uncertain, as Republican Congress members were threatening to defund the program.

Equitas Health

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This Columbus, Ohio–based nonprofit community health care system is one of the nation’s largest organizations catering to the LGBTQ and HIV communities, providing services to tens of thousands of people in Ohio, Texas, Kentucky and West Virginia. Founded in 1984, it offers primary and specialized medical care, a pharmacy, dentistry, mental health and recovery services, HIV and STI treatment and prevention, access to PrEP and PEP, Ryan White HIV case management and advocacy and other community health initiatives. The Equitas Health Institute also offers training—online and in person—to organizations interested in creating more affirming environments for LGBTQ people. Equitas Health is the producer and primary beneficiary of AIDS Walk Ohio, which in the past eight years has raised $2 million for HIV-related services.

Fast-Track Cities


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Using UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 initiative as a starting point, more than 300 cities and municipalities across the world participate in the Fast-Track Cities initiative. Mayors and other officials have joined four global partners (the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, UNAIDS, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and the City of Paris) to get to zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths worldwide by signing a declaration to help achieve the initiative’s 95-95-95 target. The goal is to get 95% of people living with HIV to know their status, 95% of people who know their status on antiretroviral therapy and 95% of people on antiretroviral therapy to achieve a suppressed viral load. A web portal allows cities to report on their progress. 

Funders Concerned About AIDS

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Since 1987, the mission of Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) has been to inform, connect and support philanthropic efforts in response to the global HIV pandemic. More than 50 foundations and charities are FCAA members. The organization hosts an annual summit, monthly funder events and working groups to help ensure community-led approaches are embedded into HIV-informed funding. FCAA supports its members by helping to identify new opportunities for collaboration and is a driver of increased resources to underfunded regions, populations and interventions. The Philanthropic Support to Address HIV and AIDS is the group’s resource-tracking report; it includes data on more than 5,000 grants in order to identify gaps, trends and opportunities in HIV-related philanthropy.

Introduction | A-B | C-F | G-M | N-Q | R-Z


New Robotic-Assisted Surgery Offers Inspiring Hope for Rwanda

Africa, Featured, Health, Innovation, TerraViva United Nations


An artist’s impression of the completed Centre of Excellence in Kigali. The center supported by IRCAD is expected to assist with the training of surgeons throughout the continent with minimally invasive surgery training. Credit: Supplied

An artist’s impression of the completed Centre of Excellence in Kigali. The center supported by IRCAD is expected to assist with the training of surgeons throughout the continent with minimally invasive surgery training. Credit: Supplied

KIGALI, Nov 13 2023 (IPS) – In a newly established Centre of Excellence located in Masaka, a suburb of the Rwandan capital city, Kigali, an expanded lab, complete with innovative facilities and specialized instruments, is now giving surgeons a conducive environment to simulate how to perform minimally invasive surgeries.

French-based Institute for Research into Cancer of the Digestive System (IRCAD) played a major part in this initiative, the first ever on the African continent.

According to medical experts, in comparison to traditional open surgery, often requiring the patient to incur invasive large incisions, minimally invasive surgery procedures allow doctors to insert a camera through a small incision, or sometimes no incision at all.

Dr Alexandre Hostettler, head of the Surgical Data Science Team at IRCAD, pointed out that harnessing robotic and artificial intelligence is critical to enhance the capability of surgical treatment in Africa.

Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery denotes the surgical technique where the robot-applied laparoscopic tools are remotely controlled by a human operator at a console.

“Performing surgeries using robotic assistance can be more comfortable for surgeons, as they can sit at a console rather than standing for extended periods, reducing physical strain,” he told IPS.

The center also aims to train medical doctors from across Africa about how to perform surgery using very small incisions, allowing the introduction of an endoscope connected to a camera with a magnified image leading to a very precise dissection of the operated organs.

Prof Jacques Marescaux, President and Founder of IRCAD, is convinced that the new center represents a turning point in surgical education and practice in Rwanda and sub-Saharan Africa. “The center is a catalyst for all African surgeons and computer scientists,” he said in an exclusive interview with IPS.

At the same time, Rwanda is striving to build an integrated medical service system that provides high-quality services and is efficient in medical facility management. Rwandan President Paul Kagame believes the key task is to keep investing significantly in public health infrastructure.

“The [new] Centre of Excellence is not serving Rwanda alone. It is serving Africa. It is also improving and taking beyond the talent we have in Africa to a much higher level,” Kagame said at the inauguration of the new facility, for which operations and running costs will be fully funded by the Government of Rwanda and IRCAD France.

Some medical experts observe that despite its numerous advantages over traditional surgery, especially the shorter hospital stay and less blood loss with lower overall costs, the new robotic surgery is not widespread in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, some researchers argue that computer-assisted navigation and robotics are sometimes challenging to use by perioperative nurses when caring for patients undergoing these procedures.

Dr Christine Mutegaraba, a surgeon from one of the private clinics in Kigali, told IPS that providing appropriate training remains critical for specialized medical practitioners to rely on these robotic surgery systems.

“Huge investment is also needed to ensure that clinics and other specialized referral hospitals are equipped with devices needed to perform these kind of surgical techniques,” Mutegaraba said.

According to the data from Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, laparoscopic was the sole type of minimally invasive surgical technique used by few medical practitioners across the country, and there wasn’t any formal training in place to develop the technical skills for additional doctors.

With the inauguration of the new center, both officials and health experts see hope in developing and advancing this technology, where specialized medical doctors will now be able to perform various kinds of surgeries.

While the introduction of innovative solutions in the health sector remains exciting for health officials, Marescaux points out that the new robotic technology is set to provide patients with high-quality medical services.

“We are working on building the largest team combined with computer scientists and surgeons in Africa,” he said.

Estimates by IRCAD show that access to surgical care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), such as countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is still extremely limited, which causes a burden on the health care systems.

It said thanks to the center, African surgeons will not have to travel across the continent to receive the best training in surgery since it will be available right at home.

The 2022 World Health Organization’s study shows that strong measures are also needed to boost the training and recruitment of health workers in Africa.

Whereas the UN agency recommends that African countries significantly increase investments in building the health workforce to meet their current and future needs, new findings show that that the region has a ratio of 1.55 health workers (physicians, nurses, and midwives) per 1000 people.

Experts now believe that robotic technology will also lessen surgeon’s workload by efficiently managing the patient flow.

“As technology evolves, robotic systems are likely to incorporate more advanced features, integrating AI, augmented reality, and other technologies to aid the surgical process,” Hostettler said.

IPS UN Bureau Report