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DEC01

World AIDS Day 2015: Making the Promise a Reality










Today, we observe the 27th annual World AIDS Day. We’ll take time to recognize the 1.2 million Americans and the 35 million people globally who live with HIV. We’ll pause and reflect on the millions of people—our friends, family, mentors, and lovers—who have been lost to the fight.

But we’ll also celebrate our progress.

And there has been progress—more progress than I could have ever imagined in 1992 when I first tested HIV positive.

We’ve never been closer to making the promise of an AIDS-free generation a reality. We have the science and the tools, but now we need you. We need you invested in the fight. We need your support. 

By marrying HIV medical advancements, surveillance data, workforce development, policy, and a national charge, we are at a seminal moment in time and, indeed, in the history of HIV.
We now have medication that, when taken consistently, can offer decades of extended life and improved health outcomes for those of us infected while also reducing future transmissions by more than 96%.

And yet, in this country, more than 45,000 new infections occur every year and only 30% of people living with HIV have reached viral suppression. And despite expanded access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, far too many people still face major barriers to accessing the care they need. The promise of an AIDS-free generation is in reach, and yet we still have so far to go.

At AIDS United, the promise of the end of AIDS isn’t just a platitude; it’s embedded into everything we do. 

For almost three decades, AIDS United has supported community-driven responses to the HIV epidemic that reach the nation’s most disproportionately affected people, including gay and bisexual men, communities of color, transgender men and women, women, people living in the Deep South, people who use drugs, those living in poverty, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

We are doing the work needed to turn the promise into reality. We are funding and evaluating programs that overcome barriers to care and treatment, combatting stigma through community organizing among people living with HIV, and fighting for national and state policies and funding that will help propel us to the end of AIDS.

We are working every day at the intersection of innovative programs and sound policy, at the crossroads of a national movement aligned with local responses, and with a recognition that a social justice framework must guide all aspects of our critical work.

Not only do we promise, we deliver. 

In 2015 alone, we provided more than $6 million in funding to local partners across the country. These strategic investments support innovative community-led approaches that are turning the tide of the epidemic—approaches such as expanding access to sterile syringes, advocacy in the Deep South, access to and retention in care, and helping AIDS service organizations make the most of health reform.

Our programs make a difference. I’m so proud of what we accomplish every day, and here are just some of the highlights:
  • Our Southern REACH initiative provides support to 27 organizations throughout the Deep South who are addressing the legal, political, and systemic barriers faced by people living with HIV;
  • In addition to individual testing, education, and linkage to care, our 54 AmeriCorps members serve their communities in many ways, like responding to the unprecedented outbreak in Scott County, Indiana; collaborating with the faith-based communities; and creating public awareness campaigns;
  • Our Positive Organizing Project is revitalizing grassroots mobilization and engagement of people living with HIV within the organizations that serve them;
  • Our Sector Transformation initiative is helping dozens of organizations manage change and make the most of opportunities created through health care reform; and
  • AIDSWatch brings hundreds of HIV advocates to Washington, DC, to share their stories and educate members of Congress about issues facing our communities.

Learn more about our programs, grantees, finances, staff, and more at www.aidsunited.org.

We are making real headway, but we need your investment to continue the work.

Of every dollar you invest, over 93 cents goes directly to key leverage points in strategic communities most impacted by the epidemic. That means every investor in AIDS United—whether big or small—knows that they too are helping move us ever closer to an AIDS-free reality. 

This World AIDS Day, help us make the promise a reality. Please consider a tax-deductible year-end gift or monthly pledge to AIDS United. By investing in our work, we can continue to advance our mission of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Kaplan President & CEO

 



Posted By: Michael Kaplan, President & CEO, AIDS United - Tuesday, December 01, 2015



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