On World AIDS Day, 9 organizations receive HIV Legal Services Fund grants
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The ABA’s HIV/AIDS Impact Project announced Tuesday, on World AIDS Day, that nine organizations will receive grants of up to $150,000 each to improve the availability of HIV legal services in underserved areas across the country.
The project, part of the Health & Human Rights Initiative run by the ABA Center for Human Rights and ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section, established the HIV Legal Services Fund after it was named the recipient of a cy pres award to distribute $1.2 million in unclaimed funds from the 2017 settlement agreement in Beckett v. Aetna. In this class action lawsuit, policyholders taking HIV medications alleged privacy infringement by the Aetna insurance company.
An ABA press release is here.
Margaret Drew, chair of the HIV/AIDS Impact Project and an associate law professor at the University of Massachusetts, said in the press release it was an honor to be entrusted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to disburse the cy pres funds to HIV legal services providers.
“The HIV Legal Services Fund established by the Project for this purpose received more than two dozen proposals, all of them impressive, and we wrestled mightily to arrive at a final roster of grantees,” she said. “The ones selected represent regional and other measures of diversity in reaching underserved populations with HIV legal services and policy advocacy.”
The HIV Legal Services Fund grant recipients are:
- AIDS Legal Referral Panel (San Francisco)
- Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
- CrescentCare (New Orleans)
- Equality Ohio
- JRI Health (Justice Resource Institute) (Needham, Massachusetts)
- Legal Council for Health Justice (Chicago)
- Legal Services Alabama
- Manhattan Legal Services (New York)
- Nevada Legal Services
ABA President Patricia Lee Refo also said in the press release she appreciated the court for this opportunity.
“Since 1987, when the ABA established the AIDS Coordinating Committee (now the project) to identify, analyze and address legal issues bearing on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it has been doing vital work to support HIV legal services providers and policy advocates at home and abroad,” she said. “The HIV Legal Services Fund is but another manifestation of that longstanding commitment.”