In the short few months since we launched the video series “What it Means to be an HIV Funder,” the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world – how we work, how we communicate, and how we support the fight against HIV and AIDS.

We considered not sharing the videos given the overwhelming amount of content that is in everyone’s in-boxes. However, we noticed that many of our interviewees touch on issues—such as the need for partnership and community-led responses—that are as important as ever.

Today we are sharing the latest in the series from Maryse Mitchell-Brody, Sex Worker Funding Officer for the Third Wave Fund. As co-organizer of the Sex Worker Giving Circle, the first and only sex worker-led fund housed at a U.S. foundation, Maryse offers a unique perspective on the role of sex workers in the response to HIV and AIDS. Their message of supporting and resourcing community leadership is particularly relevant today as COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations such as sex workers. And, as funding is redirected to address the current crisis, resources previously allocated to support these populations may now be in jeopardy. That is why participatory grantmaking efforts like this are so critical – they will help to ensure that sex workers continue to organize, mobilize resources, and survive in the wake of this pandemic.

Watch our latest video to hear what Maryse had to say.

Please also visit this resource from the Red Umbrella Fund: Sex-workers’ resilience to the COVID crisis: a list of initiatives

We want to hear what you think it means to be an HIV funder in our current environment. Let us know by using the hashtag #FundAIDSFight.