The Elton John AIDS Foundation has awarded $100,000 to the Duke AIDS Legal Project. The grant will facilitate the clinic’s work with the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, the Southern AIDS Coalition, and the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance on issues relating to health care access and advocacy for persons living with HIV in nine Southern states, said Clinical Professor Carolyn McAllaster, who directs the AIDS Legal Project.
“This funding provides an exciting opportunity for AIDS Legal Project students and faculty to work in collaboration with nationally recognized organizations to develop a strategy for maximizing resources for HIV care in our region,” said McAllaster.
The South is the epicenter of the U.S. HIV epidemic with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, the largest percentage of people living with HIV, and the highest rates of death due to HIV, she said. “The nine deep South states targeted by this grant – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas – are home to only 22 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 32 percent of new HIV diagnoses. They also are among the 15 states with the highest rates of death from HIV and AIDS.”