AIDS Partnership California (APC) is a statewide public/private collaboration whose purpose is to arrest the escalating rate of HIV in California, inform sound policy decisions, and strengthen the systems of HIV prevention and care and treatment. APC identifies emerging issues with a statewide impact, funds innovative solutions, and promotes learning through grantmaking, convening, training, and dissemination of findings. APC benefits persons with HIV or at risk for HIV, community-based organizations providing HIV services, health departments, and foundations.
APC is a program of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP). CHRP supports HIV/AIDS related research that is attentive to the needs of California and will accelerate progress towards prevention and a cure for AIDS.
Current objectives of APC include:
- Strengthening HIV long-term care planning, decision-making, and leadership;
- Supporting advocacy efforts to shape California's HIV public policy;
- Fostering a system of HIV prevention for Californians of color with HIV;
- Building the capacity of community organizations to provide HIV services;
- Increasing the effectiveness of HIV public and private grantmaking; and
- Advancing research on the future of the HIV epidemic in California.
Seven years ago, APC -formerly the Northern California Grantmakers AIDS Task Force- shifted from functioning solely as a pooled responsive grantmaking fund to proactively identifying and addressing significant regional and statewide needs. Through this innovative approach, APC has implemented projects with exceptional results, such as the Prevention with Positive People of Color Initiative, and the recently published Questions at the Crossroads: Surviving the Third Decade of HIV in California, examining key issues shaping the future of HIV in California.
In July 2003, as part of its proactive strategy, AIDS Partnership California (APC) set in motion a planning process to determine its next directions in strategic grantmaking. Information was collected through:
- Interviews with 25 California and national HIV experts to identify and address emerging trends in the epidemic in California.
- Interviews with 11 staff and Planning Council co-chairs for six of California's nine Ryan White CARE Act Title I Eligible Metropolitan Areas (EMAs).
- Ongoing dialogue with the California Office of AIDS statewide care and prevention planning group.
- Mathematical modeling of the combined effects of rapid testing, partner notification, new HIV infections, and Ryan White Title I and Title II funding trends on funding per Californian living with HIV.
Based on these findings, the APC Advisory Committee decided to invest in protecting prevention and care programs and minimizing system disruptions for people with HIV. Three major grantmaking areas were established as an integrated strategy to address chronic shortfalls in HIV funding: Public Policy, the Managing Scarcity Initiative, and Capacity Building for Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). This strategy is intended to address the delivery of HIV prevention and care and treatment from the top down and the bottom up.
- Public Policy grantmaking
strengthens advocacy efforts targeting overall prevention and care resources for HIV (including Medicaid), especially at the state level. For example, in 2004 the Governor proposed capping the State's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and, later withdrew the proposal due to effective lobbying efforts by HIV advocates. The growing gap between resources and need for HIV care and treatment not only pose critical challenges to care and treatment services, but also place HIV prevention funding at risk as elected officials look for ways to backfill service gaps.
- Managing Scarcity Initiative
Launched in April 2004, this Initiative strengthens the long-term planning, policy, leadership and advocacy, and decision-making capacities of California's Title I Ryan White CARE Planning Councils, which are comprised of consumers (PLWH), service providers, and county staff. Planning Councils are responsible for allocating funding to create and sustain a service delivery system for clients who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or lack private resources. Chronic resource shortages present particular challenges for resource allocation decisions and maintaining the continuity of a continuum of care. The Initiative aims to preserve the assets and address the weaknesses in this system, by building capacity and skills for multi-year planning in a challenging fiscal environment. The Initiative is focused on the nine Title I EMAs which manage nearly $300 million in federal and state care and treatment funds. These EMAs make decisions about services for over 120,000 or 90% of Californians living with HIV. In 2005, the Initiative will primarily focus on the Congressional reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act.
- Capacity Building for CBOs grants assist individual organizations to survive the changing fiscal and service deliver climate. Capacity building activities include: organizational mergers, strengthening fiscal systems, fund development, contingency planning, and board training. (Note: all grantees are required to have a client population that is at least 50% persons of color.)
Other Program Accomplishments
In 2005, APC funded CompassPoint Nonprofit Services to conduct a two-year program to provide leadership training for women with HIV who participate in Ryan White CARE Act Planning Councils.
The Advisory Committee has also made a modest investment to explore the policy, ethical, and practical implications of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP), which was seen as having the potential for the greatest impact on the HIV epidemic in the next five years. APC contracted with UCLA to conduct this analysis and is co-sponsoring a think-tank.