National AIDS Fund Recognizes National HIV/AIDS Testing Day June 27


WASHINGTON, D.C.  June 23, 2010 - As the message of National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) on June 27 and corresponding community-based outreach activities bolster HIV testing around the country, the National AIDS Fund urges leaders from the business, philanthropic and HIV communities to unite to help people with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who are not in care access the life-saving HIV care they need.

"This year's NHTD message "Take the Test, Take Control" is an urgent and important one," said National AIDS Fund President and CEO Kandy Ferree.  "But many people living with HIV/AIDS who have been tested and diagnosed are still not accessing the care they need because of a host of personal, societal and structural barriers.  And it is time for business, philanthropy and the HIV community to creatively and collaboratively develop interventions to minimize these barriers so that PLWHA can get into the care of an HIV health care provider."

Increasing access to care, along with reducing HIV incidence and reducing health disparities, make up the three pillars of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy spearheaded by the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and developed with numerous leaders from the business, philanthropic and HIV communities.  Recently the National AIDS Fund, in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, announced an unprecedented grantmaking collaboration called Positive Charge that provides funds to five areas of the country most affected by HIV/AIDS to increase access to HIV care by identifying and minimizing the barriers that PLWHA experience while seeking care after learning of their diagnosis.

"Positive Charge is a significant, game-changing investment made by Bristol-Myers Squibb in collaboration with the National AIDS Fund to address barriers related to accessing HIV care," said Ferree. "But it must be the first of many such investments that we as business, philanthropic and HIV/AIDS leaders make if we are going to successfully link those who are tested on National HIV/AIDS Testing Day and every day - and subsequently diagnosed with HIV -- with the care that they need to maximize their health outcomes and the health of our communities."