The Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) has received a $75,000 grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to expand the center's HIV testing and outreach efforts.
The local grant is part of $330,000 in grant funds awarded to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS across the South.
“The U.S. South is the global epicenter of the AIDS crisis – driven by discrimination, rampant economic inequality, and a lack of access to quality healthcare,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “Our two foundations realize the urgency of this crisis. With these grants, we’re supporting the advocacy and action that will, once and for all, change the course of this epidemic.”
MGLCC will use the funds to launch the Memphis SYNAPSE Project, which will reach out specifically to gay, bisexual, and transgender African-Americans. That project will allow the MGLCC to begin providing at-home HIV tests for those who need them. Previously, the testing was only available at the center. The project also includes the launch of Healthy Relationships, an evidence-based intervention for HIV-positive people. The grant funds will also go toward PSAs announcing the SYNAPSE program.
MGLCC will also be able to hire two new staff members with the funding, and it will support the launch of "Bold and Beautiful," a support group for transgender women.