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Highmark Foundation awards $90,000 in grants to support HIV/AIDS and STD programs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Oct. 17, 2016 | Pittsburgh, Pa.

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 17, 2016) — The Highmark Foundation recently awarded $90,000 in grants to 10 community-based organizations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to support evidence-based prevention education programs and risk reduction measures to address barriers to HIV/AIDS and STD care and treatment.

"HIV/AIDS continues to be a pervasive public health issue, and we now know there is a link between HIV and STDs," said Yvonne Cook, president of the Highmark Foundation. "By reducing barriers and getting individuals into care earlier, these organizations can improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations in the communities they serve."

The following organizations received grants from the Highmark Foundation to provide care, treatment and education for those impacted by HIV/AIDS and STDs.


  • AIDS Resource Alliance, Williamsport: $7,500
    Expand Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Access to Services (ARTAS) program to link newly-diagnosed individuals to medical care and strengthen community referrals.
  • Allentown Health Bureau, Allentown: $10,000
    Increase access to STD care, education and preventive services; provide screening and treatment to individuals who are at risk or already infected with a STD; and assist uninsured patients with applying for public health insurance through its weekly clinic.
  • Central Outreach Resource and Referral Center, Pittsburgh: $6,000
    Provide community-based, no-cost mobile testing and outreach services to individuals at risk for HIV/STI infections through its Empowerment through Education and Outreach program.
  • Co-County Wellness Services, Reading: $9,500
    Increase access to HIV/STD prevention, decrease the stigma associated with HIV/STDs and normalize conversations about HIV/STD prevention options through its “We’re Doing It Berks” social media campaign.
  • Community Human Services, Pittsburgh: $7,500
    Pair community-based recreational activities with HIV/STI prevention programs, testing, linkage to medical care, broad-spectrum social services, mental health counseling, social support and capacity building initiatives for LGBTQ youth of color through Project Silk.
  • Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center, Pittsburgh : $10,000
    Offer case management and prevention programming, education and outreach to 100 economically disadvantaged, underserved minorities living with HIV and AIDS.
  • Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, Pittsburgh: $10,000
    Expand services to include HIV and primary medical care while improving access to HIV testing, treatment and services through its PrEP for Wellness Project.
  • Planned Parenthood Keystone, Allentown: $10,000
    Increase community awareness and provide accessible, no-cost education, awareness and treatment of HIV/AIDS and STDs to youth, women and men served by the Chambersburg and Gettysburg medical centers.

West Virginia:

  • Caritas House, Morgantown: $9,500
    Provide no-cost HIV Rapid tests, HIV counseling support, Hepatitis C and STD information for those most at risk for exposure through its Accessible Rapid Testing (ART) program.
  • Milan Puskar Health Right, Morgantown: $10,000
    Reduce the transmission of HIV, Hepatitis C and B, encourage injection drug users to consider treatment and assist them in gaining access to medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment through its LIGHT Project Harm Reduction and Syringe Exchange program.
About the Highmark Foundation

The Highmark Foundation is a private, charitable organization of Highmark Inc. that supports initiatives and programs aimed at improving community health. The Foundation's mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in the communities served by Highmark Inc. The Foundation strives to support evidence-based programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit


Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Health