Janssen Therapeutics has announced the recipients of a funding initiative that aims to improve care and treatment for injection drug users (IDUs) living with HIV and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States, according to a Janssen press release.

Eight organizations across the country will receive a one-year grant of up to $40,000 to create community- and peer-based programs that will help link these at-risk, underserved patients to care and address common barriers to their treatment.

Injection drug use is the No. 1 cause of hep C cases in the United States and the third most frequently reported risk factor for HIV. Public health experts assert that successful treatment of both viruses not only reduces health complications and costs, but also drastically decreases the likelihood of IDUs transmitting the blood-borne diseases.

The recipients are Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (Atlanta), Boom!Health (New York City), Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation (Corpus Christi, Texas), Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network (Ukiah, California), The Open Door (Pittsburgh), St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (Los Angeles), Vermont Committee for AIDS Resources Education & Services (Burlington, Vermont) and Washington Heights CORNER Project (New York City).