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The HIV/AIDS Initiative

The HIV/AIDS Initiative

For 22 years, the HIV/AIDS Initiative of The Actors Fund has been helping members of the entertainment industry living with HIV/AIDS cope with the extraordinary challenges of healthcare, insurance coverage for medications and housing expenses, as well as the occasional financial and emotional crises brought on by the disease on both a short- and long-term basis. The initiative works with the newly diagnosed, those living and working with the virus and those who are seriously ill.

BC/EFA funding represents 70 percent of the HIV/AIDS Initiative’s budget and we continue to work closely with The Actors Fund to provide leadership, coalition building and the fundraising necessary to keep the promise that we will “take care of our own” for as long as AIDS is with us.

In Fiscal Year 2009, BC/EFA gave $2,150,000 to the AIDS Initiative.  Of this, $1,161,100 was used for emergency financial assistance for 266 clients in New York and across the country (for more details, see box below). Our grant also supported personnel, administrative costs, volunteer needs and other expenses associated with client case management.

The collaboration between BC/EFA and The Actors Fund’s HIV/AIDS Initiative is a model for how an industry can respond with effectiveness and compassion to the AIDS crisis. The HIV/AIDS Initiative provides a full spectrum of essential supportive services, including: emergency financial assistance (for basic necessities such as rent, food, health insurance and non-reimbursable medical expenses), case management referrals to other sources of community and public assistance, benefits advocacy, vocational retraining, counseling and support groups for people with HIV/AIDS and their partners, families and caregivers.

Changes in the AIDS environment have had a significant impact on clients. The effectiveness of protease inhibitors, available since 1996, has had major service implications as the HIV/AIDS Initiative shifts from helping people with a fatal disease to assisting those with a chronic, manageable one. In the past, the HIV/AIDS Initiative often helped clients prepare for a more dependent level of living. Now, advances in treatment have allowed staff to prepare clients for their independence by helping them to build skills and learn more about the supportive network that can help them remain highly functioning individuals.


"You have made this atheist believe again in angels."

- Client, The AIDS Initiative

"The denial of being HIV positive was becoming overwhelming. From the moment I shared my HIV diagnosis for the first time with someone at The Actors' Fund, I was graciously guided in finding health coverage, a healthcare provider and emotional support. There have been so many ways and times The Actors Fund and BC/EFA have been there for me I cannot express my thanks."

- Client, The AIDS Initiative

“To all at BC/EFA and The Actors Fund who make it possible for miracles to happen, I wanted to take a moment to say a sincere thank you. At a time of desperate and embarrassing circumstances, the services funded by BC/EFA at The Actors Fund made it possible for me to see my way clear. I walked into The Fund's offices filled with trepidation and shame, and left with hope and a new resolve.

Your help has taken many forms: rent, utilities, doctor’s bills, the possibility of health insurance for the first time in years, legal counsel…dentistry and psychiatric assistance down the road. But most importantly, I feel a restored sense of dignity and that I am not in this alone.

I have been a professional singer and actor for twenty-seven years and for the first time in my career could not see my way clear, financially and otherwise. I’ve done fundraising for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS across the years…and did it joyfully, never dreaming that I would be in such need. My diagnosis of HIV has, till now, been manageable on my own both financially and logistically. But it is a different time in my life and in our business.

So with new appreciation for what you do and what you have made possible, I thank you with all my heart. Beyond the obvious immediate benefits, I am most grateful for the spirit in which help is given…that the circumstances I found so overwhelming were indeed manageable.”

- Client, The AIDS Initiative



For more information about The Actors Fund, visit www.actorsfund.org.

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Phone: 212.840.0770

Fax: 212.840.0551

 

info@broadwaycares.org

 

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Broadway Cares/Equity Fights for AIDS

165 West 46th Street, #1300
New York, NY 10036

212.840.0770
info@broadwaycares.org

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization.

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