Access and Health Equity
Morris Singletary Brings Forward His Spirit, Passion and Vision as a COMPASS Grantee
Stories@Gilead - February 18, 2021 - 1 min read
When Morris Singletary was a child, he remembers his mother telling him that HIV was God’s punishment for being gay. He says the first person he thought of when he learned of his HIV diagnosis was his mother.
Two years ago, with funding from the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®, Morris founded PoZitive2PoSitive, a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta that works to get important educational messaging around HIV to communities of color – often despite significant barriers to care, including job and housing insecurity, and persistent stigma.
Morris says that religion – and the church – have an important role to play in reaching people at risk of and living with HIV.
“I don't know if the church realizes how much they can help in diminishing HIV,” he says. “If the Black church will do something as simple as hug a person with HIV, that will make a difference.”
This week Gilead announced an expansion of the COMPASS Initiative® to faith-based communities, including the Black church, with the addition of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. Wake Forest will serve as the fourth coordinating center for COMPASS, joining Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Southern AIDS Coalition and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
Gilead will provide $5 million in grant funding to Wake Forest over the next three years and renew the company's funding commitment to the other COMPASS coordinating centers. Through Gilead’s work with the centers and direct engagement with partners in the region, the company has provided $52 million in funding to the Southern United States in support of nearly 150 organizations since COMPASS began.
Gilead has committed to providing more than $100 million through COMPASS over 10 years.