Gilead Sciences COMPASS Initiative® Accepting Transformative Grant Applications from Organizations Fighting HIV in the South

Grants are Part of A $100 Million Effort over 10 Years To Fight Stigma, Increase Access to Health Services, and Increase Local Leadership for those Living with HIV

Samira Ali
Samira Ali, director of the SUSTAIN Wellbeing COMPASS Coordinating Center

The Gilead COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative® announced a request for proposals (RFP) from organizations working to fight stigma, increase access to health services, and increase local leadership for those living with HIV in the South. The 2020 Transformative Grants are part of Gilead Sciences’ COMPASS Initiative®, an unprecedented 10 year, more than $100 million effort working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southern United States.

Samira Ali, assistant professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, received a $5 million grant in 2017 to establish the SUSTAIN (Supporting U.S. Southern States to Incorporate Trauma-Informed HIV/AIDS Initiatives for Wellbeing) Center, one of three coordinating centers created to identify and provide funding to local organizations to address the epidemic throughout the region.

Last year, 32 community partner organizations across nine Deep South states were awarded Transformative Grants. A full list of 2019 Transformative Grant Partners can be found here.

"The Transformative Grant helps our organization address HIV-related stigma through a meaningful program that supports leadership and entrepreneurship among persons living with HIV in our community,” said Derrick Blue of Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan, Inc.  “The grant and technical assistance allowed us to build staff capacity to better evaluate the impact of our work."

Transformative Grants focus on supporting the development and implementation of programs and activities that address three programmatic focuses of the COMPASS Initiative®:

  • Organizational capacity building;
  • Wellness, mental health, trauma-informed care, substance use and telehealth;
  • and HIV-related stigma reduction.

Following the opening of the application, the three Coordinating Centers for the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® – Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition, and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work – will host a series of five informational webinars to provide technical assistance to organizations, provide an overview of the RFP, and offer insight into grants’ programmatic focus areas. These Coordinating Centers will also ensure grants help address the epidemic throughout the region by mobilizing the local community to implement solutions. More information about the webinars can be found here.

  • Completed proposals are due via the COMPASS Initiative® website ( by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday, September 23, 2019.
  • The Coordinating Centers anticipate selection of the Transformative Grant Partners in November of 2019.

Applicants must be located in and provide services in one of the nine “Deep South” states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas) and must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations as set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Applicants that do not hold 501(c)(3) status must have a fiscal sponsor to apply. Applicants must be able to complete work proposed within a 12-month period beginning on January 1, 2020, and ending on December 31, 2020. The maximum amount an applicant can request is $100,000.