The Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund board of directors recently approved $120,000 in grants to 13 nonprofit organizations providing HIV/AIDS prevention, education, testing, and social services in the state of Oklahoma.
This year’s funding priorities were focused on reducing new HIV transmissions and AIDS-related deaths. Oklahoma is still one of 10 southern states experiencing an HIV/AIDS epidemic with an estimated 6,000 Oklahomans currently living with HIV. Last year, 90 Oklahomans died of AIDS-related complications and nearly 300 individuals were newly diagnosed and linked to care. Of these, 80 percent are still engaged in care and have a suppressed viral load. However, lifetime medical costs for a person living with HIV are more than $350,000 and extend well beyond the medical domain, including social services, housing, patient time, lost productivity, and physical and emotional distress to patients and their families.
“The programs supported by the Red Tie Night gala are extremely important in addressing the public health issue of HIV and AIDS in Oklahoma,” said Paula Love, President of the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund. “Without these vital services for prevention and care, far more new HIV transmissions and AIDS-related deaths would occur. Investing in HIV prevention and protecting the health of Oklahomans is our top priority.”
The following grants were awarded:
Be the Change: funding for the OACF Youth Impact Project that provides evidence-based curriculum for HIV prevention among youth and young adults who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or are otherwise marginalized who are engaged in Injection Drug Use (IDU).
Expressions Community Center: to offset the costs of rent and utilities for an HIV/STI case management office.
Grateful Day: to cover the operational costs and provide scholarships for the 2018 HIV Wellness Retreat. The Retreat provides healing arts, therapies, and workshops focusing on advances in treatment and care. The retreat is designed to foster community with people living with HIV and to help educate them on nutrition, new medications and public services available.
Guiding Right: to provide linkage to medical treatment, HIV Prevention Education and Risk Reduction services for individuals newly and previously diagnosed as HIV-positive in Tulsa and to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) with the use of farmers market days in Oklahoma City.
HeartLine: to support ongoing operations of the Heartline 2-1-1 program and service related to the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities.
H.O.P.E.: to support IMPACT program that addresses the challenges of anonymous testing and treatment in rural communities and meets clients when and where it is most convenient including via online dating sites, social media and other nonconventional outreach measure.
Latino Community Development Agency: to support the HIV/AIDS prevention program targeted to under-served, uninsured high-risk communities in Central Oklahoma. Funding will allow the HIV prevention program to continue offering education, counseling and testing to the high-risk youth community for HIV in Central Oklahoma. Education will be conducted to young adults, children, and Hispanic parents; with an emphasis oriented to LGBTQ youth in our community.
MAMA Knows: to support HIV counseling, testing and referral program; continue the condom distribution program in southern Oklahoma; provide culturally relevant support services and education to the constituents, especially black and American Indian/Alaskan natives in and around southern Oklahoma and throughout our state through outreach; implementation of ARTAS linkage to care program.
NorthCare: to support of the Q Space, providing LGBTQ youth at risk for HIV/STD infection and/or coping with infection a specific space for support, psychoeducation, and referrals for services and testing.
Other Options: to provide food, nutritional support, resources and services to people living with HIV/AIDS and or other debilitating terminally ill diseases or disabilities in the state of Oklahoma.
OU Foundation: to underwrite transportation costs for HIV-positive children, as well as School of Community Medicine physicians who serve as chaperones for children to Camp Hope in summer 2019. Camp Hope is a camp for HIV-positive children where all additional costs, including registration, are underwritten by the AIDS Foundation of Houston.
RAIN: to support expansion of prevention education, support for non-reimbursed case management, supportive services and urgent client needs which are unavailable through other resources.
Teen emPower!: to provide personal experience presentations by those living with HIV and STI/HIV Prevention Lessons for eighth-grade students within the schools they teach sexual health education classes.
Since its inception in 1991, the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund has awarded more than $12.5 million for HIV/AIDS services across Oklahoma. One hundred percent of the proceeds of the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund’s annual gala, Red Tie Night, make this possible. To learn more about the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund and Red Tie Night, please visit