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Merck Company Foundation Announces HIV Care Collaborative with Atlanta, Houston and Philadelphia Health Departments
Date:7/19/2012

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Merck Company Foundation announces the launch of a three-year, $3 million initiative that will support the health departments in Atlanta, Houston and Philadelphia to connect more people living with HIV in these high-burden communities to the care they need to stay healthy. The initiative will be launched with program partners on Sunday, July 22, 2012 at the start of the XIX International AIDS Conference.

The HIV Care Collaborative for Underserved Populations in the United States aligns with President Obama's National HIV/AIDS Strategy's goals which include entering and retaining more patients in care and is designed to support existing programs that have the greatest potential to reduce new HIV infections.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, with 50,000 new infections each year.  A third of Americans with known HIV infections are not receiving health care and 20 to 40 percent of patients fail to establish care within six months of receiving an HIV-positive diagnosis.

"Too many people living with HIV/AIDS are not getting the health care they need to stay healthy and contribute to healthy communities," said Geralyn S. Ritter, senior vice president, Global Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, Merck & Co., Inc. and president, The Merck Company Foundation. "Merck has a long-standing commitment to expanding access to health care and helping respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the HIV Care Collaborative reinforces this commitment here in the United States."

Each of the selected health departments will receive up to $1 million over three years, to enhance existing efforts and foster other innovative approaches to better serve people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent its further spread.  The communities will address local provider-based an
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SOURCE The Merck Company Foundation
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