CHARLOTTE — Rev. Deborah C. Warren, founder and CEO of Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) participated in a dialogue on the role of public/private partnerships in the Obama administration’s forthcoming National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) on May 13.

The National AIDS Fund selected RAIN to participate in a major new HIV/AIDS initiative to break down barriers to care and optimize health outcomes. A collaboration between RAIN and the Mecklenburg County Health Department, the Duke Center for Health Research, the North Carolina AIDS Fund, Hertford County Public Health Authority, Ahoskie, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and AIDS Care & Education Services in Wilmington aims to reach people living with HIV/AIDS in North Carolina who are not presently in care. Of more than 4000 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Mecklenburg County, nearly 50 percent are not in medical care.

The project utilizes HIV positive persons to reach HIV positive peers who are not receiving medical care, treatment and support.

“We are honored to have been selected as a Positive Charge grantee by the National AIDS Fund. I’m so pleased to be part of a national project that recognizes and utilizes the skills and leadership of HIV positive people,” said Warren. RAIN provides medical case management, peer support groups, chaplain support, counseling and CareTeams.

The Positive Charge grant initiative focuses on increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes, one of the three pillars of the national HIV/AIDS strategy. Positive Charge community grants are made possible through a separate grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb to the National AIDS Fund.

To volunteer or provide other support, contact RAIN at 704-372-7246, ext. 100 or visit This year, RAIN, in partnership with First United Methodist Church, will open a primary care clinic in uptown Charlotte that will provide care for persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. The clinic will also provide patient-centered care for others who have limited access to primary medical care.

To learn more about the National AIDS Fund, the Positive Charge grant initiative or to arrange an interview with a representative of the NAF, call Rob Vanaszak, communications officer, National AIDS Fund, at 202-408-4848, ext. 214. : :

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.