Reducing new HIV transmissions. Expanding free HIV testing opportunities. Providing care for those affected. Reducing AIDS-related deaths.
What We Do:
OACF provides funding and resources to the most pressing needs of the HIV/AIDS community in Oklahoma. We conduct on-going needs assessments and vet the organizations providing direct assistance to families and individuals living with or affected by this disease. We monitor HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs and initiatives annually to ensure they are efficiently and effectively working to prevent the spread of HIV and/or assisting those living with HIV/AIDS through the HIV care continuum in order to maintain a healthy life and viral suppression.
Federal funding from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and state funding from the Oklahoma State Department of Health fall short, especially in economically disadvantaged areas across our state. Although the HIV epidemic in Oklahoma is primarily among men who have sex with men and injection drug users, other demographic characteristics are associated with HIV prevalence including age, education, annual household income, poverty level, employment, and homeless status. Only 52% of Oklahomans living with HIV or AIDS were served by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program in 2015.
Oklahoma is one of 10 southern states still experiencing an HIV epidemic. Last year there were almost 300 new HIV infections diagnosed. Almost 50% of these were young people under the age of 30. In addition, nearly 100 HIV+ individuals passed away. Ten of these deaths occurred within one year of their HIV diagnosis. Of the 5,756 individuals living with HIV in Oklahoma, 47% are under the age of 30. These are young adults who have always lived in a world with HIV/AIDS and were born after the height of the AIDS epidemic. Of these, less than 50% regularly see an HIV doctor and less than 30% have their virus under control. Fear and anxiety are the largest obstacles to HIV treatment and the main reason patients avoid being tested.
Our goal is to reduce new infections, stigma, and health disparities while increasing access to care and collaboration of services. Through our HIV Prevention and Care Program, we coordinate these efforts by educating our elected officials about the need for legislation that positively impacts those affected by the disease; by providing one-time emergency medical assistance; by hosting frequent networking and educational trainings for providers; and by purchasing testing and prevention supplies to supplement the budget shortfalls at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Our Advocacy Program is in its second year as we continue to cultivate citizen advocates and educate our elected officials on the struggles that Oklahomans living with HIV/AIDS face and the importance for funding and prevention. We serve as the voice for the 10,000 families affected by HIV/AIDS and work towards strengthening their rights. Through our efforts we strive to ensure positive policy changes and legislation while increasing access to care and improved health outcomes.
Our Community Grants Program is 100% funded by the net proceeds of our annual fundraising gala, Red Tie Night. Our grants committee carefully reviews applications annually to ensure the HIV/AIDS direct service programs requesting funding meet with goals of the National HIV/AIDS strategy and provide measurable and lasting outcomes. Since its inception in 1991, the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund has awarded more than $12.5 million for HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to organizations in our state.
List of Agency Grants & Programs Funded from Proceeds from Red Tie Night 2018
Be the Change: funding for the OACF Youth Impact Project that provides evidence-based curriculum for HIV prevention among youth and young adults who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or are otherwise marginalized who are engaged in Injection Drug Use (IDU).
Expressions Community Center: to offset the costs of rent and utilities for an HIV/STI case management office.
Grateful Day: to cover the operational costs and provide scholarships for the 2018 HIV Wellness Retreat. The Retreat provides healing arts, therapies, and workshops focusing on advances in treatment and care. The retreat is designed to foster community with people living with HIV and to help educate them on nutrition, new medications and public services available.
Guiding Right: to provide linkage to medical treatment, HIV Prevention Education and Risk Reduction services for individuals newly and previously diagnosed as HIV-positive in Tulsa and to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) with the use of farmers market days in Oklahoma City.
HeartLine: to support ongoing operations of the Heartline 2-1-1 program and service related to the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities.
H.O.P.E.: to support IMPACT program that addresses the challenges of anonymous testing and treatment in rural communities and meets clients when and where it is most convenient including via online dating sites, social media and other nonconventional outreach measure.
Latino Community Development Agency: to support the HIV/AIDS prevention program targeted to under-served, uninsured high-risk communities in Central Oklahoma. Funding will allow the HIV prevention program to continue offering education, counseling and testing to the high-risk youth community for HIV in Central Oklahoma. Education will be conducted to young adults, children, and Hispanic parents; with an emphasis oriented to LGBTQ youth in our community.
MAMA Knows: to support HIV counseling, testing and referral program; continue the condom distribution program in southern Oklahoma; provide culturally relevant support services and education to the constituents, especially black and American Indian/Alaskan natives in and around southern Oklahoma and throughout our state through outreach; implementation of ARTAS linkage to care program.
NorthCare: to support of the Q Space, providing LGBTQ youth at risk for HIV/STD infection and/or coping with infection a specific space for support, psychoeducation, and referrals for services and testing.
Other Options: to provide food, nutritional support, resources and services to people living with HIV/AIDS and or other debilitating terminally ill diseases or disabilities in the state of Oklahoma.
OU Foundation: to underwrite transportation costs for HIV-positive children, as well as School of Community Medicine physicians who serve as chaperones for children to Camp Hope in summer 2019. Camp Hope is a camp for HIV-positive children where all additional costs, including registration, are underwritten by the AIDS Foundation of Houston.
RAIN: to support expansion of prevention education, support for non-reimbursed case management, supportive services and urgent client needs which are unavailable through other resources
Teen emPower!: to provide personal experience presentations by those living with HIV and STI/HIV Prevention Lessons for eighth-grade students within the schools they teach sexual health education classes.
List of Agency Grants & Programs Funded from Proceeds of Red Tie Night 2017
AIDS Support Program (Winds House)
To support the Positively Health Living Program to purchase equipment and provide cooking classes for residents living with HIV residing in emergency housing at the Winds House.
Be the Change
To support the Community Promise Initiative which is an evidence based intervention addressing HIV risks associated with injection drug use among adolescents and young adults.
Diversity Center of Oklahoma
To provide psychosocial counseling and therapy for individuals coping with an HIV diagnosis and complications from the disease.
Expressions Community Center
To support the facility management of a collaborative center for HIV-related services, support groups, trainings and outreach services.
Grateful Day Foundation (Oklahomans for Equality)
To support an annual HIV Wellness Retreat for those living with HIV/AIDS. The retreat provides healing arts, therapies, and workshops focusing on advances in treatment and care.
Guiding Right, Inc.
To provide operating support for the Link to Life program in Tulsa and the Food is Life program in Oklahoma City. Link to Life provides free testing and linkage to care for newly diagnosed individuals in the Tulsa area. Food is Life is a partnership with OU Infectious Disease Institute and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and will establish a farmers market in one of the highest at-risk communities void of healthy fruits and vegetables.
To support HIV/AIDS related support and referrals for the calls to the 2-1-1 phone and texting systems. The program connects callers with HIV/AIDS resources while providing crisis intervention, and suicide prevention.
Health Outreach Prevention Education (H.O.P.E.)
To provide free HIV prevention, outreach and testing services in rural Oklahoma. This program addresses the challenges for those living in small rural communities in need of broader anonymous care.
Latino Community Development Agency
To support an HIV/AIDS prevention program targeted to under-served, uninsured high risk communities in central Oklahoma. This program serves the Latino Community along with a broader and diversified clientele in a bilingual and bi-cultural environment.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
To provide legal services for those living with HIV/AIDS. Services range from advice to full civil representation at District, Federal and Administrative Courts.
To support the Young Okies United (YOU) Program that seeks to address the risks of HIV infections for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-29. This demographic makes up 50% of the newly diagnosed HIV infections in Oklahoma. YOU provides outreach to youth at risk for HIV/AIDS while addressing health disparity issues and sexual health challenges.
Other Options, Inc.
To support the Friends Food Pantry to provide food and nutritional supplements for over 2,000 households affected by HIV/AIDS. Funding will also support equipment and transportation needs for the program.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains
To support the Get REAL (Real Education About Life) Program that provides safe sex, HIV prevention and educational outreach in central Oklahoma.
To support the expansion of HIV/AIDS prevention education, unreimbursed case management supportive services and urgent client needs that are unavailable through other resources. The goal of the program is to reduce health disparities for those living with HIV/AIDS and keep them moving through the continuum of care to reach full viral suppression and maintain good overall health, wellness and stability.
List of Agency Grants & Programs Funded from Proceeds of Red Tie Night 2016.
AIDS Support Program
To support utility costs at the Winds House and Winds Family House residences for tenants who are HIV-infected.
Be the Change
To support the HIV Support Network program and provide medical and non-medical transportation, moving assistance, home and lawn care, along with social and leisure activities for those living with HIV.
Children’s Hospital Foundation
To support a dedicated nurse practitioner to assist families raising children who are HIV-infected.
Expressions Community Center
To support the facility and maintenance costs in order to continue to provide a safe place for community events, support groups and HIV-related services and outreach programs.
Guiding Right, Inc.
To support HIV counseling, testing and referral services in the Tulsa Area.
To support the crisis intervention, suicide prevention and HIV service navigation calls to 2-1-1.
To support the HIV education, testing and outreach program in rural Oklahoma.
Latino Community Development Agency
To support the Breaking the Silence Program that provides culturally sensitive counseling, testing and referrals to help reduce HIV infection and transmission in the Latino community.
Legal Aid Services Oklahoma
To provide free legal services in civil matters to low-income Oklahomans living with HIV/AIDS including assistance with housing issues, income maintenance problems, consumer problems, employment issues, family law issues, and end-of-life planning.
To support counseling, testing, referral services, education and prevention to the southcentral region of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund
To support the emergency assistance program, an educational outreach and advocacy program, as well as test kits for the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s free testing program. The emergency assistance program is for case managers to access on behalf of their clients with no other means to pay for medical, housing, utilities or prescriptions.
To purchase food and nutritional supplements for distribution in the food pantry for over 1,600 households.
Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma
To support the Get Real program to bring individuals and groups information skills, motivation and means to reduce the transmission of HIV.
To support the case management supervisor of the Ryan White Part B program who oversees the case managers and services to over 1,000 HIV/AIDS clients throughout Oklahoma.