In its largest show of support for an organization targeting HIV, BBVA Compass is teaming up with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to reinforce the organization’s work in the Southern U.S.
Sir Elton John created his foundation nearly 25 years ago, and it has since raised more than $350 million and become a global leader in the fight to end AIDS. Its ongoing work in the South is critical: The epicenter of the nation's HIV epidemic has moved from the coasts — the first AIDS cases were reported in Los Angeles and New York City in 1981 — to the 16 states and District of Columbia that make up the South, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
BBVA Compass, which is awarding $300,000 to EJAF, has a strong presence in some of those Sunbelt states that are hardest hit, such as Texas and Alabama.
“By teaming up, we're compounding our fight against a deadly disease that can still take hold of vulnerable communities that have poor access to HIV testing and health care.
“The Elton John AIDS Foundation is a best-in-class organization, and it's doing critical work to help care for and educate underserved populations,” said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. “By teaming up, we're compounding our fight against a deadly disease that can still take hold of vulnerable communities that have poor access to HIV testing and health care.”
BBVA Compass’ support for the Elton John AIDS Foundation comes in the form of a grant from the BBVA Compass Foundation and a sponsorship package. It is part of the bank’s commitment to banking on a brighter future and improving the communities it calls home.
“We’re committed to building a brighter future for absolutely everyone in our communities — one dollar at a time, one outstretched hand at a time,” Ocañas said.
According to the CDC, the South now experiences the greatest burden of HIV infection, illness and deaths of any region.
- Southern states account for an estimated 44 percent of all people living with an HIV diagnosis in the U.S.
- In 2014, the South accounted for 52 percent of the estimated new AIDS diagnoses in the U.S.
- The 10 metropolitan areas with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses are all in the South.