MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
A changing epidemic requires an adaptive response. That’s why I am so proud of our AIDS United team. They responded nimbly to changes in the epidemic, changes in national politics, and changes in AIDS United – all occurring in 2016.
In 2016, AIDS United transitioned from the leadership of Michael Kaplan as President and CEO and welcomed a new leader with the selection of Jesse Milan as his successor. Jesse stepped in as our interim CEO halfway through the year, and did such a remarkable job that our Board of Trustees asked him in November to remain at the helm. We are so fortunate that Michael and Jesse had a seamless transition that prepared us for the historic political changes that occurred later in the year. We needed AIDS United and our powerful program and policy team firing on all cylinders.
And they did.
This Annual Report highlights the incredible work, began under Michael and continued under Jesse by our team of committed and talented professionals accomplished in 2016. Our programs like Southern REACH and Positive Organizing Project (POP) were ready and able to help organizations across the country respond to many of these challenges. We launched a new program for the Ryan White Program to create innovations in HIV services. And, as new challenges arise, programs are being shaped to accelerate progress. Working collaboratively with organizations, funders, and HIV community leaders across the country, AIDS United created positive changes and progress throughout all of 2016.
Of course, our work is nowhere near done. For example, homelessness among people living with HIV is increasing and high-risk behavior among gay and bisexual men – especially among young men of color – is also on the rise. And, of particular alarm, trends in the states making up the U.S. South is all too often going the wrong way.
Like many of you, I was tremendously encouraged by the good news about HIV in America that 2016 brought us all. On December 1 – World AIDS Day – we learned that the number of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. dropped by 7% between 2010 and 2013 and the death rate dropped by 30%. These are reasons to celebrate! That progress must continue. It will with your commitment and the brave and enduring commitment of our team at AIDS United.
On behalf of the AIDS United Board of Trustees I offer my heartfelt thanks.
DR. ROBERT "BOBBY" HILLIARD, JR
Chair of the AIDS United Board of Trustees