Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation marks World AIDS Day with grants totaling more than $3.5M

Bristol-Myers SquibbTo mark World AIDS Day, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced 16 grants totaling $3.5 million for programs in Africa that strengthen HIV services for adolescents and the elderly, raise awareness and access to health care for women co-diagnosed with HIV and breast or cervical cancer, and build community capacity and integrate treatment for HIV/tuberculosis (TB) co-infection.

The grants, both new and extensions for ongoing programs, were awarded through the Foundation’s landmark Secure the Future® initiative, which brings community-based care and support to people with living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Since its launch in 1999, Secure the Future has awarded more than $183 million in grants to more than 350 projects.

"The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation joins with our existing and new partners to continue working toward a world that is free of HIV," says John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. "Through these grants, the Foundation and its partners are helping to ensure that HIV-positive youth and the elderly in Africa continue to receive much-needed care and support, and that women who are co-infected with HIV and cervical or breast cancer have information and access to potentially lifesaving screening and treatment. In addition, given the close correlation between HIV infection and TB, it is essential that we work with our partners to continue strengthening community programs and approaches that integrate both diseases."

Adolescents and the elderly
Adolescents in Africa often have difficulty accessing treatment for HIV and other health and psychosocial services. In addition, stigma and other barriers result in many youth being lost to care even before beginning treatment or immediately after testing positive for HIV.

Africa also has a growing population of elderly people who are HIV-positive as a result of greater access to antiretroviral therapies and a general increase in the aging population. This trend has implications for policy, planning and practice. Most research and data have focused on the effects of the epidemic on children, youth and prime-age adults, but there is a need for studies that investigate patients 50 and older.

Grants for programs that address care and support of adolescents living with HIV will be implemented by Children’s Radio Project, South Africa; Sinomlando Project, South Africa; and AfricAid Zvandiri, Zimbabwe. Studies of HIV prevention practices among adults 50 and older and HIV/cancer co-infection among the elderly will be implemented by the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Ageing in Africa and Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania.

HIV and Female Cancers
In sub-Saharan Africa, cervical and breast cancers are the leading causes of cancer death among women. The rate of cervical cancer among women living with HIV is three times higher than those who are not HIV-positive, primarily because of co-infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical and other gynecological cancers. An estimated 60% to 80% of women in sub-Saharan Africa who are living with HIV are infected with HPV. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), a global partnership fighting women’s cancers, have been working together to reduce the rate of female cancers among women who are co-infected with HIV.

Eight organizations have received grants that will continue to build knowledge about HIV and cancer, increase HIV/cervical/breast cancer screening and diagnosis efforts and strengthen the Foundation’s collaboration with PRRR. Programs will be implemented by Tanzania Youth Alliance; Medical Women Association of Tanzania; Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network, Tanzania; Tanzania Marketing and Communications; Mathiwos Wondu-YeEthiopia Cancer Society, Ethiopia; Doctors With Africa CUAMM, Tanzania; Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task Force, South Africa; and Forum for African Women Educationalists Swaziland Chapter.

HIV and Tuberculosis
In countries with high levels of HIV, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, about 80% of people with TB also have HIV. Globally, TB is among the deadliest diseases and a leading killer of people living with HIV. Since it was launched in 1999, the Foundation’s Secure the Future initiative has been committed to helping patients with TB who also have HIV. For the past three years, the Foundation has been collaborating with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global TB Program on ENGAGE-TB, a program to strengthen community-based care for patients who have TB and for those co-infected with HIV.

Grants to partners who are building capacity within communities for integrated HIV/TB screening, diagnosis and treatment will be implemented by Consortium of Christian Relief & Development Association, Ethiopia; National University of Lesotho Consuls Unit; and Grassroots Poverty Alleviation Program, Kenya.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.

Most Popular Now

Novartis rises to second place in 2018 Access to M…

Novartis ranked second in the 2018 Access to Medicine Index (ATMi), up from 3rd place in 2016, in recognition of its long-standing efforts to improve worldwide access to ...

MSD is looking for a digital health solution to em…

MSD Lebanon is looking for an external partner to co-create a digital solution that helps oncologists to stay updated with relevant clinical content about cancer. The sol...

Lilly submits New Drug Application to the FDA for …

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) has announced the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lasmiditan for the acute...

FDA approves new treatment for patients with acute…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Daurismo (glasdegib) tablets to be used in combination with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC), a type of chemotherapy, for t...

New study reveals probiotics do not help children …

Probiotics are a multibillion-dollar industry with marketing claims of being an effective treatment for a multitude of ailments, including diarrhea. However, findings fro...

Sanofi builds focus on rare blood disorders and ca…

Some of the most serious unmet patient needs today are in the field of hematology. Rare blood disorders and blood-related cancers continue to be a major focus of research...

Merck and Pfizer provide update on avelumab in pla…

Merck and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that the Phase III JAVELIN Ovarian 200 trial evaluating avelumab* alone or in combination with pegylated liposomal doxor...

Bristol-Myers Squibb awards "Golden Tickets…

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and LabCentral, an innovative, shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for life-sciences and biotech startups, today anno...

U.S. FDA approves Larotrectinib, the first TRK inh…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved larotrectinib, the first oral TRK inhibitor, under the brand name Vitrakvi®. The approval is for the treatment of...

Scorpion venom to shuttle drugs into the brain

The Peptides and Proteins lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has published a paper in Chemical Communications describing the capacity of a s...

Abbott recommends rejection of below-market mini-T…

Abbott (NYSE: ABT) received notice of an unsolicited mini-tender offer by Baker Mills LLC (Baker Mills) to purchase up to 60,000 Abbott common shares, representing approx...

AstraZeneca to divest US Synagis rights to Sobi

AstraZeneca has agreed to sell US rights to Synagis (palivizumab) used for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) caused by respiratory syncyt...