The Washington AIDS Partnership brings together ideas, people, and resources to end the HIV epidemic in the Greater Washington region. As an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, the Partnership invests in local organizations, focusing programming and resources on the communities most affected by the epidemic. The Partnership also provides technical assistance to local nonprofits to increase capacity and expertise; initiates public policy initiatives to address systemic issues; convenes local government, providers, funders, and other stakeholders to implement innovative strategies to reduce HIV risk and improve the lives of people living with HIV; and each year, recruits and mentors a team of young people who provide direct volunteer service in the community.
In 1987, a Ford Foundation study determined that the most effective private-sector response to the HIV epidemic would come from the local level. This led to the creation of AIDS United to encourage local philanthropy to become involved in combating HIV. Because the Greater Washington region was deeply affected by the HIV epidemic, the Ford Foundation invited the D.C. community to become one of AIDS United’s eight original partner sites.
In 1988, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation and 20 local funders joined to found the Partnership which began funding a wide range of HIV 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 $28 million, including more than $7 million dollars raised from national sources, and reached thousands of people.