AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), a public health movement managed by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, received renewed funding commitments of $1.5 million from Allegheny Health Network and UPMC, and new project funding in the amount of $125,000 from the Highmark Foundation.
JHF also approved a five-year, $250,000 grant to support operating costs of AFP.
“For decades, the caregivers at Allegheny Health Network’s Positive Health Clinic have been committed to providing leading, compassionate care to those in our region who live with HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Susan Manzi, chair of the AHN Medicine Institute, in a prepared statement. “With this mission in mind, we are pleased to support AIDS Free Pittsburgh which brings together our region’s most robust health care resources in order to make a significant difference in the lives of these patients and the health of our community,” The initiative has made “significant progress toward ending the HIV epidemic in our region,” said Dr. Steven D. Shapiro, chief medical and scientific officer of UPMC in a prepared statement.
“Our clinicians are dedicated to providing rapid access to state-of-the-art HIV care for those newly diagnosed with HIV,” successfully suppressing the virus in more than 90% of their patients.
The grant will “continue the great strides made in reducing the rate of new HIV infections and will promote the importance of early detection in Allegheny County,” said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation in a prepared statement. “This is a huge win for our community.”
Although considerable efforts have been dedicated to combating COVID-19, JHF officials were encouraged that local health systems remain committed to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Allegheny County.
“We are very happy the Highmark Foundation, UPMC and AHN have decided to trust the work and vision of AFP,” said JHF HIV/AIDS Project Director Richard Smith in a statement. “Their commitment to the HIV community will make a lasting sustainable impact.” PJC
– Adam Reinherz