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GMHC Announces Strategic Partnership with ACRIA, Bolstering Impact to End HIV/AIDS Epidemic

10.30.2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cub Barrett | 212-367-1561 | cubb@gmhc.org

Lauren Tsuboyama | 212-574-3410 | Lauren.Tsuboyama@berlinrosen.com

 

 

World’s First HIV/AIDS Service Organization Expands Reach with ACRIA Under Its Tent  

Partnership Will Increase Research-Based Programs, Adding Technical Assistance and Training Capacity to a Create a More Nationally Focused Organization

 

NEW YORK, NY (October 31, 2017)Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), the world’s first HIV/AIDS service organization, today announced a new strategic partnership with ACRIA, a leading HIV research and education nonprofit, forging a link between both prominent groups working to end the AIDS epidemic and creating a new kind of service, research, and policy organization.

 

GMHC is commemorating its 35th anniversary in 2017 and serves more than 12,600 clients annually with an array of critical services, including HIV prevention and testing, mental health and drug use counseling, and housing, legal, and nutrition services. Additionally, GMHC is active on the advocacy front, working on the city, state, and federal levels to advocate for evidence-based policies and legislation on behalf of its clients.

 

ACRIA, founded in 1991, is internationally recognized for its national research expertise and work with long-term survivors and the aging, as well as its youth-focused initiatives that target at-risk populations, especially young people of color.

 

With an integrated research, service, and policy agenda, GMHC will be able to scale up a number of its current services, offering an increased capacity for prevention and education services, program evaluation, and advocacy. GMHC will also be able to continue to evolve its targeted programming based on its new research capabilities.

 

“We’re thrilled to partner with ACRIA, drawing on its critical research expertise as we work together to enhance our high-impact prevention, mental health, and substance use services,” said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “With the ACRIA team under our tent, we will collaborate on new research-driven care and prevention programs tailored for at-risk populations and long-term survivors, as well as evolve some of our existing programs to help maximize their impact. This combined research-service approach will bring us closer to our goal to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020, and to make new inroads in other communities across the country.”

 

“As a long-standing supporter of GMHC and all the work they do, joining forces to better serve those living with HIV or AIDS is an honor and an exciting opportunity for ACRIA,” said Benjamin Bashein, Executive Director of ACRIA. “Combining many of GMHC’s existing programs and life-saving, on-the-ground work with ACRIA’s research expertise, we will be able to expand our scope of work and serve more people in need.”

 

“GMHC joining forces with ACRIA comes at a particularly critical time for people affected by HIV/AIDS,” said GMHC Board Co-Chairs Michael C. Harwood and Roberta A. Kaplan. “In a time of political uncertainty, when access to health care for people with pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS is continually at risk, we need every available resource to continue our mission of advocating for people affected by HIV/AIDS. ACRIA’s expertise, resources, and network of friends and supporters will be invaluable on that front.”

 

“We’re excited not only by this new kind of programmatic partnership and its potential, but also about the ways GMHC will be able to provide ACRIA with critical infrastructure support,” said Stewart Shining, President of the ACRIA Board of Directors. “Not only will we help make GMHC an even more effective organization than it already is, but this kind of crucial support will help ACRIA do its work even more strategically and efficiently.”

 

Through the partnership, both organizations will benefit from shared finances, donors, and supportersincluding ACRIA’s prominent contacts in the art, design, and fashion industries, as well as its presence in San Francisco, CAto continue their work and expand their services. Under GMHC’s high-profile tent, ACRIA will be able to raise its own profile, while GMHC will gain a stronger voice in research-backed health policy.

 

“Both GMHC and ACRIA have a long history of innovative service and work that has contributed to ending the AIDS epidemic. This newly announced partnership will help their programs achieve an even greater impact—not just in our city and state, but nationally,” said Johanne Morne, Director of the AIDS Institute. “By focusing on building a hybrid service-research partnership, the organizations will be able to complement each other in important and sustainable ways.”

 

“The partnership between these two powerhouse organizations is going to have incredible impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said NYC Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “For decades, GMHC and ACRIA have been leading the way in this effort, saving lives, developing policy, and securing crucial funding. Together, they will be an unstoppable force in ending the epidemic. I want to thank GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie and Benjamin Bashein, Executive Director of ACRIA, for their tremendous leadership.”

 

In 2016 ACRIA acquired Love Heals, an organization specializing in HIV prevention education among youth in New York City. Love Heals has become a leader in providing schools in the tri-state area with speakers who share their own experiences with HIV/AIDS. ACRIA currently oversees a number of youth-focused initiatives that target at-risk populations, especially young people of color.

 

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About Gay Men's Health Crisis: Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 12,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit  www.gmhc.org.