Saturday, June 22, 2024
Health & Happiness

Leading Black LGBTQ+ org and others join Gilead to address monkeypox crisis

It has been  announced that Gilead Sciences will be providing up to $5 million in grants to help a coalition of LGBTQ+ and human rights organizations, including the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading Black LGBTQ+ organization, craft public health responses to the monkeypox outbreak. 

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), GLAAD, the Human Rights  Campaign (HRC), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and NMAC today announced immediate action in response to the emerging monkeypox virus  (MPV) outbreak, which is disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly men who  have sex with men (MSM), as well as those who are living with HIV. Gilead will provide up to $5 million  in global grant funding to help support three areas of focus: a public education and vaccine hesitancy  communications campaign, a public policy response and a global outbreak emergency fund.  

Last week, the National Black Justice Coalition launched a new monkeypox/MVP webpage to make sure that members of the Black LGBTQ+/SGL community had the information needed to join the effort to prevent the virus’ spread. Learn more here: https://nbjc.org/mpv-facts/

The MPV outbreak was declared a public health emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on August 4. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 528 MPV infections diagnosed between April 27 and June 24, at 43 sites in 16 countries. Of that group, 98% of the cases were among gay or bisexual men and 41% were living with HIV.

“Throughout our history, Gilead has worked to address critical public health challenges and healthcare  disparities, particularly those faced by the LGBTQ+ community or impacted by the HIV epidemic,” said  Deborah Telman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Gilead Sciences. “Today we are proud to work with our longtime collaborators around the world to help meet the immediate  needs of impacted communities and to help identify longer term solutions to this emerging crisis. At Gilead, we are also accelerating and expanding our early-stage antiviral drug screening program to identify new  molecules for potential future treatment of MPV infection.” 

Gilead’s Global Monkeypox Outbreak Emergency Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to existing  grantee organizations working in regions with active MPV outbreaks to respond to this growing emergency. Funds may be used to cover expenses such as community mobilization activities specifically addressing MPV outbreak in communities disproportionately impacted by HIV, operating costs related to HIV testing  and service interruptions and essential safety materials. 

Four of our community’s major rights organizations — GLAAD, HRC, NBJC and NCLR — will help continue to ensure that critical information about MPV reaches  impacted communities. This comprehensive communications campaign will help LGBTQ+ people and  people living with HIV receive accurate, accessible and targeted information so they are able to make  informed decisions about how to prevent and treat MPV. Public education efforts from the national coalition  will include creation of videos, graphics and other information resources focused on vaccines, prevention  and treatment to be distributed to media, community centers and organizations, as well as organizers and  managers of LGBTQ events and venues.  

“As we saw with HIV, COVID-19, and now MPV, disinformation continues to challenge the LGBTQ+  community,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO, GLAAD. “This new collaboration will enable  creating and distributing content and resources to help our community know the facts and to understand  prevention and treatment for MPV. When communities receive accurate, timely information, they are  empowered to take appropriate action, leading to long-lasting, positive health outcomes.” 

“As MPV continues to impact our communities, we’re witnessing a concerning amount of misinformation  and confusion,” said Joni Madison, Interim President, HRC. “That misinformation is especially harmful to  BIPOC communities who historically are sidelined when it comes to equitable access to care and treatment.  Over the past several weeks, we’ve also seen the LGBTQ+ community doing what we’ve always had to  do: caring and advocating for each other. In the same vein, we look forward to working together with Gilead  and other partner organizations to combat the stigma that prevents people from seeking the care they need.”  

“The National Black Justice Coalition is excited to be a part of this coordinated effort to prevent the spread  of MPV across the U.S., especially among the Black LGBTQ+/SGL community and people living with  HIV/AIDS,” said David J. Johns, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition. “We have  engaged with key decision-makers since the outbreak emerged to ensure our community is included, in  non-stigmatizing ways, in public health campaigns, is educated about the dangers of this virus, and is connected to care. Responses must be democratized so information, testing, and treatment resources reach  people who have the greatest need and the fewest resources.” 

“There has been a lack of accurate information about MPV and that has, and will continue to negatively  and disproportionately hurt the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community, communities of color and people at the intersections of these underrepresented identities,” said Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director, NCLR. “We are seeing the number of MPV cases across the country increase and our community  expects and deserves access to education and resources to help combat the virus, and feel safe in their  communities.” 

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in  medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The  company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases,  including HIV, viral hepatitis, cancer and inflammation. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries  worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.  

Gilead has promoted equity, particularly healthcare equity, since the company brought its first therapies to  the market. Through global partnerships, Gilead’s medicines today reach millions of people in low- and  middle-income countries around the world.  

For more than 30 years, Gilead has been a leading innovator in the field of HIV, driving advances in  treatment, prevention and cure research. Today, millions of people living with HIV globally receive  antiretroviral therapy provided by Gilead or one of the company’s manufacturing partners. 

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