HistoryDespite the controversy that surrounded HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s and early 1990s, The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis did not shy away from efforts to address this health issue. At that time, various organizations were providing HIV/AIDS services, but they rarely worked together, and there was no consensus about the most pressing needs or the best ways to address them. So The Health Foundation convened a group of service providers, medical professionals, state officials and funders to discuss the HIV/AIDS problem in greater Indianapolis and new collaborations that could help solve it. Those meetings resulted in several new initiatives, including the Indiana AIDS Fund, the fundraising arm of The Health Foundation, in 1994.
In 1995, The Health Foundation became a community partner of AIDS United (formerly the National AIDS Fund), a national organization that serves as a leading voice on HIV prevention. The Health Foundation began making grants for HIV/AIDS through the Indiana AIDS Fund in 1996, and, to date, has granted more than $6 million to AIDS service organizations and community health providers across Indiana. It has been recognized for funding cutting-edge programs that otherwise would not have received funding from other sources. This high level of commitment, leadership and courage has kept The Health Foundation at the forefront in the fight against HIV disease for nearly two decades.
HIV Testing & Treatment as PreventionResearch released in late 2011 indicated those with HIV who are receiving antiretroviral therapy have very low amounts of the virus in their bodies, which can prevent the passing of the virus to others. Unfortunately, only half of those living with HIV are receiving consistent care and an estimated 28 percent have their virus under control. (Source: CDC)
The CDC now recommends that all Americans be tested for HIV at least once, and that those at greater risk get tested once a year or more often. Early detection of HIV and immediate and consistent treatment of the disease can not only extend the lifespan of the person infected, but also drastically reduce the spread of HIV.
Beginning in fall 2012, The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis will award the first round of grants in line with the new national priority of funding HIV testing & treatment as prevention, which supports this latest research.
Direct Emergency Financial AssistanceThrough a partnership with local entrepreneur, Phil Denton, The Health Foundation created the Gregory R. Powers Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) program in the late 1980s to provide needed assistance to Hoosiers living with HIV/AIDS in emergency situations. DEFA funds are distributed by The Health Foundation through the Indiana AIDS Fund to 15 grantees that provide hands-on care management and assistance including The Damien Center, Eskenazi Hospital (formerly Wishard Hospital) and the LifeCare program at IU Health.
These agencies then administer DEFA funds to meet the individual emergency needs of HIV/AIDS infected persons. In 2010, DEFA funds provided assistance to 1,220 patients. The top five emergency needs were:
1. Medical visits and medication (34.96 percent)
2. Transportation (10.42 percent)
3. Rent or mortgage payments (10.03 percent)
4. Utility payments (5.36 percent)
5. Dental or optical needs (5.36 percent)
An estimated 2,000 people in Indiana are HIV-positive and don’t even know it. You can help them learn their status and get connected to care, all with a simple text.
Text “know” to 20222 to donate $10 for one Oraquick rapid HIV test. That one test may save many, many lives.
* $10 will be added to your text phone bill. Standard text messaging rates and fees may apply.
NAMES ProjectThe Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis is honored to be the host organization for The NAMES Project Indiana, more commonly known as the AIDS Quilt.
In June 1987, after losing many friends to AIDS, Cleve Jones created The NAMES Project. The idea of a quilt, offering warmth and comfort, with the names of the many people who have struggled with AIDS was combined into a powerful piece of artwork. As the size of the Quilt has grown (over 46,000 individual panels) so has the Quilt's impact. It continues to be a powerful memorial, as well as an impressive tool for prevention education. Portions of the Quilt are displayed in churches, schools, government centers, and various events worldwide.
For more information regarding obtaining panels of the Quilt for a display, please contact us at (317) 630-1805, or Click Here for a Quilt request form.
HIV Testing SitesThe Indiana State Department of Health’s Counseling, Testing, and Referral program coordinates the efforts of local HIV counseling and testing sites. Click here to find a site that offers counseling, testing and other services in your area.