FOSTER CITY, Calif. & NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically Black academic health science centers, today announced the publication of a new supplemental issue of Meharry Medical College’s Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. It details the impact of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® – the company’s 10-year, more than $100 million collaborative initiative that seeks to eradicate underlying serious and systemic challenges that contribute to the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States.
The supplemental issue, The Gilead COMPASS Initiative®: Navigating HIV in the Southern U.S. by Building Capacity & Bridging Communities, features 16 articles by COMPASS grantees across the U.S. South. It details the programs that have been implemented by these organizations over the past five years to address the HIV epidemic within their communities, underscoring the impact of COMPASS funding from Gilead in strengthening their ability to tackle barriers to care.
“At its core, COMPASS is focused on cultivating relationships with community partners who are on the front line, confronting the social and cultural complexities that have permitted HIV to endure for far too long,” said Deborah H. Telman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, Gilead Sciences. “The supplemental issue of Meharry Medical College’s prestigious journal is a recognition of everything we’ve been able to achieve together over the past five years and the tangible transformative impact COMPASS grantees have had on the landscape of HIV in the Southern United States. The work highlighted in this supplement lays forth a strong foundation that we hope will set the pace for the next five years of the initiative.”
“We are honored to be a part of this initiative with Gilead that clearly aligns with Meharry’s mission of serving the underserved. Many who are affected by HIV do not have access to the care and treatment they need because of the barriers to care and resources they face," said Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, President and Chief Executive Officer at Meharry Medical College. “This journal supplement not only demonstrates the profound impact of grassroots community-based efforts in ending the epidemic, but also provides documented successful approaches that other groups can replicate when tackling barriers to care.”
Despite the availability of treatment and prevention options, the HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately devastate vulnerable communities in the U.S. South. Home to slightly more than one-third of the population, the Southern states accounted for 51% of new HIV diagnoses in 2020. Black individuals bear a disproportionate burden of the disease in the region, accounting for 52% of persons living with HIV.
Since its launch in 2017, the Gilead COMPASS Initiative has brought together nearly 400 community-based organizations across 16 states to form a robust network of local leaders for HIV advocacy focused on evidence-based policies. The Initiative has reached more than 208,000 individuals through capacity-building training, 340,000 individuals through in-person events, and more than 90 million through COMPASS social media campaigns. It has also served more than 300,000 individuals through programming run by COMPASS coordinating centers.
“The COMPASS Initiative has had a significant impact through community-centered grant-making, training, and coaching to enhance leadership and change public perception to ultimately enhance quality of care for [people living with HIV],” reads the conclusion of the article ‘Evaluating the COMPASS Initiative: Expanding the Capacity and Sustainability of Southern Black and Latinx-led Organizations to End the HIV Epidemic’ by Wake Forest University. “The structure of the COMPASS Initiative may be a model for philanthropic entities seeking equitable ways to end the HIV epidemic in collaboration with Black or Latinx-led community-based organizations.”
Meharry’s Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is a peer-reviewed publication focusing on current healthcare challenges facing medically underserved communities. Previous features have touched on issues such as access to care, disease prevention and medical legislation. Articles in the supplement expand on themes of barriers to treatment and stigma prevention for disadvantaged communities in the U.S. South, highlighting how organizations have used COMPASS funding from Gilead to expand collaborative learning, dialogue and faith-based programs, among others, to meet communities where they are and change perceptions of HIV in the region.
Articles and their respective authoring grantee organizations include:
- “When My Brother Fell, I Picked Up His Weapons:” Collective Remembrance as Community Mobilization among Black Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Men – Counter Narrative Project
- Reducing Stigma and HIV-related Disparities Through a Peer-led Support Network for Black Gay Men Who are Living with HIV – THRIVE Support Services Inc.
- Investing, Leading, Building, and Ending the HIV Epidemic: The PoWER of Collaborative Learning in Capacity Building for Community-Based Organizations in the South – Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
- Changing Narratives and Provoking Dialogue: An Analysis of the HIV Stigma and Faith Summit – Wake Forest University
- Popular Culture and Shaping HIV Perception – Wake Forest University
- Developing an HIV and Faith Ambassador Program in North Carolina – Wake Forest University
- Evaluating the COMPASS Initiative: Expanding the Capacity and Sustainability of Southern Black and Latinx-led Organizations to End the HIV Epidemic – Wake Forest University
- Sharing Lived Experiences of HIV Stigmatization: Process of Disseminating Traveling Photovoice Exhibit – The University of Memphis School of Public Health
- Using Small Grants to SPARK! Substantial Reach to Reduce HIV-related Stigma – Duke University
- Southern Care: A Rapid Response to Supporting Southern CBOs at the onset of COVID-19 – Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
- The POWER of LEARNing and LEADing Together: Shared Learning Communities – The University of Texas at Austin
- “We Already Knew What Time It Was:” HIV, COVID-19, and Black Transgender Women in the South – Kenyon College
- A Gender Affirmative Model of Training and Service Provision Among HIV Service Organizations in the U.S. South – SUSTAIN Center and UH Graduate College of Social Work
- Addressing Traumatizing Environments: A Case Study of the Showing up for Black Power, Liberation, and Healing Initiative – The University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
- Centralizing Evaluation to Amplify the Impact of Focused Grantmaking and Capacity Building Across a Southern U.S. Large-Scale HIV Initiative – ETR Associates
- Operationalizing Equity-centered Implementation Through Person-centered Care Capacity-building with HIV Service Organizations: The SUSTAIN Approach – Eastern Connecticut State University
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, COVID-19, and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
About Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College, founded in 1876, is the nation’s largest private, independent historically Black academic health sciences center dedicated solely to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church-related institution. The College is particularly well known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation’s health professions workforce. Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s ranking of institutions annually lists Meharry as a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees and Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences. Visit www.mmc.edu to learn more.
Gilead and the Gilead logo, Gilead COMPASS Initiative and COMPASS Initiative are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information about Gilead, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com, follow Gilead on Twitter (@Gilead Sciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.