Gilead, LGBTQIA+ orgs unite to combat monkeypox outbreak

The company pledged $5 million in global grant funding to support a public education and vaccine hesitancy campaign.

News image of a monkeypox vaccination site.
There are about 9,000 U.S. cases of monkeypox. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

Gilead Sciences said on Tuesday that it plans to collaborate with LGBTQIA+ and human rights organizations to combat the spread of monkeypox.

The pharma company pledged $5 million in global grant funding to support a campaign to promote public education and address vaccine hesitancy, as well as a public policy response and global outbreak emergency fund. 

In a statement outlining the initiative, Gilead acknowledged the obvious: that the monkeypox outbreak has disproportionately impacted the LGBTQIA+ community. Men who have sex with men have accounted for most cases in the U.S.

As part of the effort, Gilead is working alongside the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, GLAAD, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and NMAC. 

“Throughout our history, Gilead has worked to address critical public health challenges and healthcare disparities, particularly those faced by the LGBTQ+ community or impacted by the HIV epidemic,” Gilead EVP of corporate affairs and general counsel Deborah Telman said in the statement. “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.”

The Gilead Global Monkeypox Outbreak Emergency Fund is set to provide grants up to $50,000 to organizations working in regions affected by major outbreaks. These funds can cover expenses such as community mobilization activities, operating costs related to HIV testing and service interruptions.

The communications component of the program will rely on the efforts of partner organizations to provide LGBTQIA+ community members with reliable medical information.

The announcement comes less than a week after the Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The number of domestic cases has reached nearly 9,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

A survey released by Sermo this week found that most healthcare providers are concerned about the global spread of monkeypox, the effects of misinformation among patients and the availability of resources to effectively fight the disease.

Gilead's Q2 was highlighted by revenue of $6.3 billion and oncology sales growth of 71%.

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