Washington AIDS Partnership receives $50,000 to increase syringe access

The Washington AIDS Partnership recently received its first ever grant from the M·A·C AIDS Fund, $50,000 to increase syringe access in the District of Columbia. The grant will support the Partnership’s Syringe Access Working Group (SAWG), a dynamic collaboration between

  • the Washington AIDS Partnership
  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • Whitman-Walker Clinic
  • Prevention Works
  • DC Appleseed Center

…and the group’s federal advocacy partners:

  • the District’s HIV/AIDS Administration
  • AIDS Action
  • Hogan and Hartson LLP
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance
  • AmFAR.

The goal of the SAWG is for every injection drug user in the District of Columbia to have access to sterile syringes and ancillary services such as HIV counseling and testing, drug treatment referrals, and case management. Approximately one third of new AIDS cases are attributed to injection drug use in the District. Access to clean syringes as part of a comprehensive prevention and treatment program has been proven to be an effective HIV prevention strategy.

Established in 1994 by M·A·C Cosmetics, the M·A·C AIDS Fund supports men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Introducing its first VIVA GLAM lipstick that same year, M·A·C decided that every cent of the selling price of the VIVA GLAM lipsticks would go to the M·A·C AIDS Fund. Over $95 million has been raised to date to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.

2 thoughts on “Washington AIDS Partnership receives $50,000 to increase syringe access”

  1. None of those organizations listed above–except for Prevention Works–are doing direct syringe exchange. Is this money for administrative costs for lobbying or actually doing something about syringe exchange in DC?

  2. Billie,

    MAC actually made two grants at the same time – one to Prevention Works to support direct syringe exchange efforts, and a second grant to Washington AIDS Partnership to support the coalition we lead that is working to overturn the Congressional ban that prevents DC from using its locally raised tax dollars to support syringe exchange efforts. The funds support staff at Prevention Works and other members of our coalition who are doing education and organizing work to get the word out and to build support for syringe access, which is a public health, not a partisan political issue. Our efforts to date have been very successful – we’ve gotten the ban removed in the DC version of the 2008 DC budget, and we’re awaiting action in the full Senate. If we’re successful, the District will be able to use local tax dollars to provide support to Prevention Works in their harm reduction efforts to combat the spread of HIV. FYI, the Partnership has been and remains the largest funder of Prevention Works.


    Channing Wickham
    Washington AIDS Partnership

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