North Central News

Grant will support efforts to end HIV, AIDS

In March Aunt Rita’s Foundation announced that it received $1 million in funding to create the Glen Spencer Ending Epidemic Fund for HIV prevention, outreach and navigation in the former executive director’s honor.

A new prevention and outreach fund has been named in honor of Glen Spencer, an advocate for Arizona’s HIV population (photo courtesy of Aunt Rita’s Foundation).

Spencer, who passed away just weeks after the announcement, and the unnamed donor designated Chicanos Por La Causa and one n ten to receive the bulk of the gift over the next four years. Aunt Rita’s will receive a small percentage to establish a Diversity and Cultural Council. The goal of the council is to offer hope to the newly diagnosed and advise on the best ways to reach out to minority populations in Arizona.

“Young males between 20 and 29 are the highest-risk category for HIV infection and the Latinx population has the highest incidence rate in Arizona,” said Spencer in a statement released in early March. Spencer was an outspoken advocate for Arizona’s HIV population for nearly two decades and was Aunt Rita’s Foundation executive director from 2016 to 2021. “I’m humbled that the fund is named in my honor and I’m incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to help end the HIV epidemic.”

All three organizations also are collaborating with the City of Phoenix Fast-Track Cities Initiative, of which Spencer was a founding member. The initiative aims to effectively end HIV in the community by achieving four target goals, called 90-90-90-0: 90 percent of people living with HIV know their HIV status; 90 percent of those individuals receive care and adhere to antiretroviral therapy; 90 percent of those on treatment achieve an undetectable viral load; and for the community to have zero stigma or discrimination towards HIV/AIDS.

For more information, visit www.auntritas.org.

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