The Indiana AIDS Walk benefits the Gregory R. Powers Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) Fund. DEFA provides emergency financial assistance and direct care for those throughout Indiana impacted by HIV/AIDS. In 2018, almost 5,000 Hoosiers affected by HIV/AIDS received DEFA assistance. DEFA fills the gap where daily life can leave some behind. Rent, house payments, food, co-pays and transportation are just a few of the daily needs DEFA helps cover. Keep in mind, the largest barriers to staying in care are housing and transportation insecurity. DEFA addresses those needs and then some. From there, your fundraising efforts help ensure continuous care.
We find ourselves in a very motivating time in the HIV/AIDS community. As a result of improvements in science and treatment medications, the CDC now supports the concept of Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U), which means that if a patient with HIV can be engaged in care, retained in care, and be adherent to their treatment regimens to the point of reaching an undetectable HIV viral load, otherwise known as Treatment as Prevention – they are virtually unable to transmit the virus to another person. This breakthrough reinforces the importance of the DEFA fund. If a client is teetering on the brink of falling out of care and not being adherent to their treatment plan because of a past-due utility bill, or lack of transportation to their medical provider – DEFA can help that client stay in care, live a healthier life, and limit the risk of transmitting the virus to someone else – we can conceivably stop the HIV epidemic if we can assist clients to stay engaged in care.