Farel and Mathews, Honored with Red Ribbon Awards

Faculty and staff from UNC’s Institute of Global Health & Infectious Diseases were well represented at the 2018 Red Ribbon Gala, hosted by the North Carolina Community AIDS Fund.

Farel and Mathews, Honored with Red Ribbon Awards click to enlarge Claire Farel, MD, MPH, received a 2018 Red Ribbon Award from the NCCAF.
Farel and Mathews, Honored with Red Ribbon Awards click to enlarge Allison Mathews, PhD, was honored for her work with the community during the 2018 Red Ribbon Awards.

(Republished from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases website)

(June 18, 2018) Claire Farel, MD, MPH, and Allison Mathews, PhD, received Red Ribbon Community Service Awards from the North Carolina Community AIDS Fund.

The mission of the North Carolina Community AIDS Fund (NCCAF) is to empower communities to lead the response to the HIV epidemic by increasing individual, community, and statewide capacity to bring an end to HIV in North Carolina. Each spring, NCCAF holds the Red Ribbon Gala to recognize individuals around the state who have excelled in the fight against AIDS.

Farel, who is the medical director of the UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic, received the John Bartlett Innovation in Research Award. The award is bestowed upon a person committed to HIV medical, behavioral or social research. Read more about Farel’s role treating patients in the ID Clinic. Her research interests include HIV prevention and outcomes in vulnerable populations.

“I feel so lucky to be able to work at a place like UNC, where I’ve benefitted from great mentors and collaborators and get to work with people from across the state,” said Farel. “It’s amazing to get to see how community, county, state, and national groups can intersect to improve the lives of people living with HIV and to prevent new infections.”

Allison Mathews, PhD, was honored for her work with the community during the 2018 Red Ribbon Awards.

Mathews is a postdoctoral research fellow in UNC’s Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, where she leads the 2BeatHIV project. She received the Caressa White Education & Program Development Award, which honors someone who educates the community and manages programs for and about HIV. Mathews’s 2BeatHIV project uses crowdsourcing contests to develop new ways to engage the community with HIV cure research. Learn more about how she connects with the community through 2BeatHIV.

“It means so much to be honored with an award named for Caressa White Harding, who is a fierce representation of the type of leadership and tenacity needed to end the HIV epidemic,” said Mathews. “I only hope that I can honor her name and the work of countless others who came before me to educate the public about HIV cure research and advocate on behalf of the marginalized and underserved. The HIV community has embraced me with open arms. They’re family.”

Read the full list of 2018 awardees.

NCCAF raises funds to provide HIV-focused grants and technical assistance to community-based organizations focused on positively impacting those infected and affected by HIV in North Carolina. Since 2008, NCCAF has awarded over $536,105 in grants to prevention and care organizations in North Carolina.

UNC’s Institute of Global Health & Infectious Diseases faculty and staff were well represented at the annual awards ceremony. In addition to Mathews and Farel, UNC’s Vice Chief of Infectious Diseases Joe Eron, MD, won a Red Ribbon Award. And two awards were named after UNC staff – Caressa White Harding, the outreach director for the UNC Center for AIDS Research, as well as former ID Clinic nurse Lynda Bell.