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Gilead Sciences Promises $5 million to Combat Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

by Max Heirich
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Gilead Sciences announced a collaboration with various Human-Rights Organizations on August 9. The goal of the collaboration is to address the disproportionate effect of the ongoing monkeypox Public Health Emergency on members of the LGBTQ+ community. For their part, Gilead plans to supply $5 million to address critical areas of focus. 

Related Article: Global Race to Track and Contain Monkeypox Outbreak

The Organizations Teaming Up With Gilead

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) are all organizations that advocate for the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community. A part of these organizations’ work involves supporting individuals affected by HIV/AIDS which disproportionately affects members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Another disease that disproportionately affects members of this community is the most recent outbreak of monkeypox. In a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine examining 528 monkeypox infections diagnosed at 43 sites in 16 countries, around 98% were either gay or bisexual men. 41% of that number were also living with HIV. 

As a result of this skew, HRC, NBJC, NCLR, and NMAC look to Gilead to assist in funding outreach campaigns to better assist these vulnerable populations.

Gilead Pledges Up To $5 million In Support

It is not uncommon for large companies to assist in outreach during health crises. In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, platforms like Google and Facebook helped spread awareness about best practices to slow the spread of the virus. Regeneron is another example of this kind of outreach; Healthcare Ready praised the company’s actions in outreach. 

Gilead seeks to do much the same. The biotech company pledged to provide up to $5 million in funding for three key areas of the monkeypox Public Health Emergency. These areas are a public education and vaccine hesitancy communications campaign, a public policy response, and a global outbreak emergency fund.

The global emergency fund will provide organizations operating in areas affected by active monkeypox virus outbreaks with up to $50,000 in grant money. The fund covers anything from community mobilization activities to operating costs related to testing to essential safety materials.

On the partnership, Deborah Telman, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel at Gilead Sciences, said, “Today we are proud to work with our longtime collaborators around the world to help meet the immediate needs of impacted communities and to help identify longer term solutions to this emerging crisis.

Meanwhile, HRC, NBJC, NCLR, and NMAC will continue delivering critical information to impacted communities. The organizations hope these efforts will result in LGBTQ+ members living with HIV making informed decisions about the prevention and treatment of monkeypox. 

The collaboration between biotech companies like Gilead and advocacy organizations that represent their patients is imperative in the ongoing struggle against public health emergencies.

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