Mission and History
In 1987, a Ford Foundation study determined that the most effective private-sector response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic would come from the local level. This led to the creation of AIDS United (formally called National Community AIDS Partnership) to encourage local philanthropy to become involved in HIV/AIDS grantmaking by channeling matching dollars from national funders through local partnerships. Because the Washington metropolitan area was deeply affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Ford Foundation invited D.C.ís community to become one of AIDS United's eight original sites.
In 1988, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation and 20 local funders joined in support of the Partnership as it began funding a wide range of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services. After five years of nurturing at the Meyer Foundation, the Partnership became an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers in 1993. Since 1989, the Partnership has granted over $22 million, including more than $2 million dollars raised from national sources to match local contributions. Over 150 organizations have benefited from grants awarded by the Partnership. Currently, over 30 major funders participate in the Partnership in addition to many small funders and individuals.
HIV/AIDS and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Region
HIV/AIDS is one of the most urgent health problems facing the United States and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 38,000 AIDS diagnoses in the metro region. In fact, at least 2.7% of D.C. residents are living with HIV/AIDS, surpassing the World Health Organizationís 1% threshold for a generalized epidemic.
Communities of color and women are increasingly at risk for HIV/AIDS, especially in the District which has been disproportionately impacted by the epidemic. According to the District of Columbia HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration, African Americans accounted for 74% of HIV/AIDS cases while only accounting for 48% of the D.C. population. In fact, 4.3% of those living with HIV/AIDS are African Americans. As for gender, the majority of HIV/AIDS cases are among men but women are increasingly becoming infected, accounting for 28% of those cases. African American women represent 91% of female HIV/AIDS cases.
Another affected population is youth who continue to be at risk: of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases, 29% of diagnoses were among 13-29 year olds. In terms of risk factors, the leading mode of transmission for newly diagnosed African Americans was heterosexual contact (38%), followed by men who have sex with men (MSM) (30%). For Caucasians and Hispanics/Latinos, the leading mode of transmission was MSM.
and Suburban Maryland have also been adversely impacted by the HIV/AIDS
epidemic. According to the Virginia Department of Health, there were more
than 7,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Virginia, 28% of
Virginia's total. Of those Virginians living with HIV, approximately half (47%)
were African Americans, 50% of transmission was attributed to MSM exposure, and
76% were men. In Suburban Maryland, there are more than 8,700 individuals living
with HIV/AIDS, 28% of Maryland's total, according to the Maryland Infectious
Disease and Environmental Health Administration. Among new Suburban Maryland
HIV cases, approximately 82% were among Black populations, 66% were among men,
and 55% were attributed to MSM.