March 16, 2021 (WASHINGTON) — The Links Foundation, Incorporated has been awarded a $350,000 grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. to advance the organization’s work in ending the HIV epidemic that continues to disproportionately impact people of African descent. The grant will allow The Links to scale up its Links HELP (HIV Education, Leadership and Prevention) program.
The Links Foundation, Incorporated is the philanthropic arm of The Links, Incorporated, one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.
Links HELP is an integral part of the organization’s Health and Human Services programming facet agenda. It takes a holistic approach to addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Black communities worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared with other races, the Black diaspora has a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses. In 2018, 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses in the US were women. While significant progress has been made in reducing the number of new diagnoses among women, Black women represent the majority of women living with HIV as well as the majority of new infections among women. The Gilead grant strengthens The Links’ position in the global fight to prevent the spread of AIDS and eradicate the epidemic.
“Even though we are in this pandemic battling the novel coronavirus 2019, HIV has been a virus that we have been battling for 40 years. We cannot turn our attention away from it now. And, as with other issues, communities of African descent are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS with no vaccine and no cure. Our organization continues to be galvanized to make a difference and we are poised to deliver impactful and sustainable programs through those platforms that allow us the greatest reach to our members and into our communities,” said Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., national president of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated.
“We are inspired by The Links Foundation’s commitment to addressing HIV in the Black community, particularly among women, where the impact is disproportionately high,” said Korab Zuka, VP, Public Affairs, Gilead Sciences. “We are confident this grant will help the organization continue its important work making a global impact in ending the HIV epidemic.”
The Links will deliver expanded HIV education and prevention programs through impactful webinars and conference workshops for its membership and the larger community as well as live social media conversations and panels, while also collaborating with HBCUs and the organization’s national partners to move this vital work forward.
“Through this generous grant, it is our hope that our important work will help reduce the number of new HIV infections; increase awareness about HIV in our communities; reduce HIV-related disparities by increasing knowledge and combat stigmas that impact our domestic and international communities of African descent,” said Jeffries Leonard.
About The Links Foundation, Incorporated
The Links Foundation, Incorporated has contributed more than $25 million to charitable causes since its founding. In 2018, it named its fifth $1 million grantee – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Other million-dollar grantees include the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Civil Rights Museum and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington, D.C.
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.