Elton John AIDS Foundation Announces Bold New Funding Initiatives To Combat HIV Epidemics in the U.S. and in Eastern Europe/Central Asia

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today announced new funding initiatives to increase advocacy and service delivery for people living with and at-risk for HIV and hepatitis C.

In the U.S., EJAF will be launching a new funding initiative to address HIV in Black gay men and transgender individuals, building on our years of experience and support in fighting AIDS in these communities. In Eastern Europe, EJAF will launch the Key Populations Fund for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA KP Fund), focused on prevention and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C for individuals most vulnerable to the HIV epidemic in the region: people who use drugs, sex workers, and gay and bisexual men in the region.

Elton John AIDS Foundation Logo

Elton John AIDS Foundation logo (PRNewsFoto/Elton John AIDS Foundation)

Although Black gay and bisexual men account for one in 500 people living in the U.S., they make up nearly one in four new HIV infections and one in six Americans living with HIV. One in four Black gay and bisexual men are already infected with HIV by the time they reach age 25, and one in two will become HIV-positive in their lifetimes. An estimated overall 21% of transgender individuals are infected with HIV in the U.S. and that number is approximately three times higher among Black transgender people.

Over the past three years, EJAF-US has invested more than $6.6 million in organizations working to change the course of the epidemic in Black communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals. Through this new initiative, EJAF’s goal will be a more intensive focus to support community mobilization to develop programs and advocacy to:

  • Reduce new infection rates through support for innovative community-based programs to increase access to and use of HIV prevention and testing services.
  • Reduce AIDS-related illness and death through support for advocacy and community-based service delivery to improve engagement in health care and earlier access to HIV treatment and care.
  • Confront racism, homophobia, and transphobia as key drivers of HIV infection and disease.

The U.S. program will reach an anticipated 5,000 HIV-positive Black gay men and transgender individuals to learn about their HIV status and get linked to health care, social services, and treatment. Another estimated 10,000 will receive HIV prevention services including access to PrEP. Support for advocacy will seek increased coverage for PrEP through Medicaid and ADAP programs and expansion of state Medicaid programs to provide HIV treatment to thousands of Black gay men and transgender individuals across the U.S. One key aspect of this new initiative will be to engage leadership from Black gay and transgender communities to help set priorities and strategies for this funding and to support community mobilization through the funding process as well as through the grants themselves. This will be the largest private funding initiative specifically supporting Black gay and transgender communities in history.

The EECA KP Fund will address the needs of key populations in the region. Over three years, the Fund will reach an estimated 20,000 people with HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. Mirroring a current Fund that EJAF runs for LGBT populations in countries in Africa where homosexuality is criminalized, the EECA KP Fund will also include a Rapid Response element to address emergencies, including the physical safety of people living with HIV. The EECA Key Populations Fund will also develop “Lighthouse” grants that support HIV and hepatitis C care within the public health system.

Funding for the new initiatives will be supported by EJAF and include financial contributions from Gilead Sciences. Gilead will also provide a donation of hepatitis C products to the EECA Fund to help cure 5,000 patients – a critical contribution in a region where up to 97% of people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C.

Our new funding initiative in the U.S. has the potential to substantially change the course of the HIV epidemic among Black gay men and transgender individuals by supporting the leadership and organizations within those communities,” said Scott Campbell, Executive Director of EJAF-US.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, over 1.5 million people are living with HIV. New HIV infections in the region have increased by over 50% since 2010. People who inject drugs, sex workers, and gay men make up over 96% of those infected. Over 75% of people living with HIV in EECA are not on treatment. Co-infections with hepatitis C are also widespread with an estimated 60 – 97% of people living with HIV who inject drugs co-infected with hepatitis C, depending on the country.

The HIV epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, particularly in Russia and Ukraine, remains the fastest growing in the world,” said Anne Aslett, Executive Director of EJAF-UK. “As other donors have withdrawn from the region, EJAF remains committed to supporting people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, and sex workers throughout the region to improve their health and protect their human rights. The EECA KP Fund is the first initiative of its kind. It aims not only to save the lives of thousands of very vulnerable people but to introduce new ways of addressing and scaling up response to the region’s expanding epidemic.”

EJAF Founder Sir Elton John said. “These investments will make a measurable difference at a pivotal moment by connecting people most vulnerable to HIV to the care they need and the compassion they deserve.”

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Alba Botanica® Brand Partners With The Pink Agenda And FAB-U-WISH During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Highlighting Giuliana Rancic’s FAB-U-WISH Initiative, Alba Botanica® Brand Will Show Support For A Great Cause

The Alba Botanica® brand is proud to announce its partnership with The Pink Agenda, a non-profit organization committed to raising money for breast cancer research and Giuliana Rancic‘s FAB-U-WISH program, an initiative that grants wishes to those suffering from breast cancer. Since 2014, Giuliana Rancic’s FAB-U-WISH and The Pink Agenda has granted the most fabulous wishes to women undergoing treatment for this devastating disease.alba-botanica.jpg

The Pink Agenda believes that engaging today’s generation can go a long way toward finding tomorrow’s cure for breast cancer. That’s why The Pink Agenda, together with its partner the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, is working with the next generation of leaders to find and fund programs that are improving the lives of those suffering from breast cancer and conducting the groundbreaking research necessary to improve their odds. The Pink Agenda, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization launched in 2007, has contributed $2 million to breast cancer research.

Alba Botanica®, as a brand was started with the mission to Do Beautiful. Last year, they launched the Do Good – Do Beautiful campaign, which highlights women who are doing good and beautiful things in their lives and the world. Supporting The Pink Agenda and Giuliana Rancic, who was already a fan of the brand, is the perfect partnership to continue the brand’s messaging of empowering and inspiring women in the world.

As a brand that promotes creating positive change in the world, the Alba Botanica® brand is thrilled to be working alongside Giuliana and The Pink Agenda to both spread awareness and raise research funds in support of finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Julie Marchant-Houle, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Personal Care products at The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Said Rancic, “By partnering with FAB-U-WISH and The Pink Agenda, Alba Botanica® brand is helping women currently facing breast cancer feel special – and feel better – during their most difficult times. We’re proud to be working alongside Alba Botanica® to support our ultimate wish of finding a cure.

The Pink Agenda is honored to have Alba Botanica® join in our fight to make breast cancer history,” said Lucretia Gilbert, Executive Director of The Pink Agenda. “Our partners are critical in helping raise awareness of the disease and funding the groundbreaking research necessary to save lives.”

Alba Botanica® products contain 100% vegetarian ingredients and are made with vitamins, plant emollients and therapeutic botanicals for optimum beauty benefits. The Alba Botanica® brand range includes: Hawaiian skin care, hair care and spa treatments; Even Advanced™ skin care; ACNEdote™ acne skin care treatments; Very Emollient™ body lotions, bath and shower gels, cream shaves and foam shaves; Good & Clean™ facial cleansers; Fast Fix beauty treatments; a full range of suncare products and deodorant sticks.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know and How You Can Help

Thanks to earlier detection –through screening and increased awareness— and better treatments, a woman’s risk of dying of breast dropped 38 percent between the late 1980s and 2014, translating into 297,300 fewer breast cancer deaths during that time.

However, there’s much more to be done. Breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Only lung cancer kills more women each year. And there remains a large racial gap in mortality, with African-American women having 42 percent higher death rates compared to whites. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 37 (about 2.7 percent).

ACS Logo

American Cancer Society Logo (PRNewsfoto/American Cancer Society)

The Facts:

The American Cancer Society‘s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2017 are:

  • About 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 63,410 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,610 women will die from breast cancer.
  • While black and white women get breast cancer at roughly the same rate, black women are more likely to die from it.

At this time, there are more than 3.1 million people with a history of breast cancer in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)

Risk factors:

  • Limited but accumulating research indicates that smoking may slightly increase breast cancer risk, particularly long-term, heavy smoking and among women who start smoking before their first pregnancy.
  • Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Risk is about 1.5 times higher in overweight women and about 2 times higher in obese women than in lean women.
  • Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10%-25% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive, with stronger evidence for postmenopausal than premenopausal women.
  • Numerous studies have confirmed that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7%-10% for each one drink of alcohol consumed per day on average. Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers.

What You Can Do to Help

From investing in research, providing free rides to treatment, giving insurance advice and providing a free place to stay during chemotherapy, the American Cancer Society is attacking cancer from every angle. If you or someone you love is concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, the American Cancer Society can help you find the answers you need.

Get Involved and help save lives from breast cancer: Fundraise and participate in one of more than 250 Making Strides events or participate virtually at makingstrideswalk.org.

Take action with The American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and help make fighting breast cancer a national priority at acscan.org/makingstrides

2017 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Tanger Outlets Launches Shop PINK On October 1st At All Tanger Locations

Commemorating 24 Years of Uniting in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. will once again offer shoppers great savings in return for supporting the ongoing efforts to end breast cancer during the 24th annual Tanger PINK Campaign. Since 1994, Tanger has contributed more than $17 million to breast cancer research through the PINK Campaign, 5K races, on-site events and other breast cancer-related fundraising initiatives across the U.S.

TANGER FACTORY OUTLET CENTERS, INC. LOGO

Tanger Outlets. (PRNewsFoto/Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.)

The Tanger PINK Campaign launched September 29 at Tanger Outlets across the United States and Canada. At participating retailers, every day during the month of October, shoppers using the Shop Pink Card will receive additional savings on the best brand name and design fashions while helping to unite in the fight against breast cancer.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers1

Tanger Outlets Launches Shop PINK On October 1st At All Tanger Locations

Tanger’s Shop Pink Cards offer shoppers 25% off any item at participating stores, once per day, per store with unlimited use through October 31, 2017. Shop Pink Cards are available in two formats: a mobile card saved on your phone or a physical card to save in your wallet. Tanger’s Shop Pink Cards can be purchased at any Tanger Outlets nationwide, online at www.tangeroutlet.com/pink or on Tanger’s app.

Individual centers will schedule local Pump Up the PINK events, including 5K Walk/Runs, Pink Party Socials, and other Pink activations to enhance the shopping experience and to shine the light on breast cancer awareness. Tanger Outlets is also giving away gift cards and PINK items on their social media channels for fans throughout the month. Continue reading

Art News: The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994

STEPHEN BARKER, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994”

Exhibition dates: September 14 – October 28, 2017

Daniel Cooney Fine Art (508-526 West 26th Street, Suite 9C, New York, NY 10001, 212 255 8158. dan@danielcooneyfineart.com. Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11 – 6) is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of photographs, “The ACT UP Portraits: Activists & Avatars, 1991-1994“, by renowned photographer Stephen Barker. The exhibit will showcase approximately 15 never before seen black and white photographic portraits of AIDS activists – in the studio and at home – taken by Barker during his time working within the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) 1991-1994, and Barker’s unique artist’s book Funeral March, which chronicles the carrying of Mark Fisher’s body in an open coffin from Judson Church, up Sixth Avenue, to the steps of the Republican National Committee on the eve of the presidential election in 1992.

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Rod Sorge (1969-1999) ACT UP Needle Exchange, 1991

Barker became involved with ACT UP in the late 80s working primarily with the needle exchange program. The photographs were never intended as an encyclopedic project, but rather the portraits evolved organically out of Barker’s working relationships, friendships, and intimacies. The exhibition is especially timely during this 30th anniversary year of ACT UP when once again all underserved communities, including those living with HIV/AIDS, are threatened by our own government. It is a call to arms for activism and a reminder of the distance we have traveled and battles we have won.

Stephen Barker, 'Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,' 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Stephen Barker, ‘Gay Wachman, ACT UP Needle Exchange,’ 1992, Gelatin Silver Print

Continue reading

Saks Fifth Avenue Announces 2017 Key To The Cure Campaign Benefitting Women’s Cancer Research Fund

Saks Fifth Avenue has teamed up with Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) for the 2017 Key To The Cure campaign. Now in its 19th year, Key To The Cure is Saks Fifth Avenue‘s annual fundraising and charitable initiative to fight cancer. This year, Women’s Cancer Research Ambassador Jennifer Lopez will act as the face of the campaign, and Missoni will design the exclusive, limited edition t-shirt.

Saks Fifth Avenue JLo

Saks Fifth Avenue Announces 2017 Key To The Cure Campaign Benefitting Women’s Cancer Research Fund With Women’s Cancer Research Ambassador Jennifer Lopez And Missoni.

For almost two decades, Key To The Cure has been one of the most iconic and valuable programs that Saks executes each year,” said Marc Metrick, President of Saks Fifth Avenue. “We look forward to raising funds for WCRF, as well as cancer research and treatment organizations around the country, and are confident that we will be successful, especially with the extraordinary support from both Jennifer Lopez and Missoni.

The Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), a program of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, has supported innovative research directed at the development of more effective approaches to the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of women’s cancers since 1997. Founded by Jamie Tisch, Kate Capshaw, Rita Wilson, Anne Douglas, Quinn Ezralow, Kelly Chapman Meyer and Marion Laurie, WCRF has significantly moved the needle to advance life-saving research. Saks Fifth Avenue‘s annual KTTC Charity Shopping Weekend will kick off on Friday, Oct. 13, and will donate three percent of sales of designated merchandise up to $500,000 to WCRF from Friday to Sunday.

We are honored to partner with Saks Fifth Avenue on this year’s Key To The Cure campaign,” said Tisch. “We admire all that Saks has accomplished in support of cancer research over the years, and we are grateful to everyone who will participate in this event to raise critical funds.”

Saks Fifth Avenue MISSONI

Saks Fifth Avenue Key To The Cure 2017 t-shirt by MISSONI

Since the campaign’s inception 19 years ago, Saks Fifth Avenue has donated close to $40 million to cancer research and treatment organizations throughout the United States. Organizations that have benefitted from Saks Fifth Avenue’s charitable support include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Cleveland Clinic, Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Nevada Cancer Institute and much more.

The Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has supported innovative research directed at the development of more effective approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship of women’s cancers since 1997. WCRF has significantly moved the needle to fast-track more effective approaches to the study of women’s cancers. In 2016, WCRF joined forces with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)—the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide. As a program of BCRF, the highest rated breast cancer organization in the country, WCRF will go even further in its ability to advance life-saving research. For more information, kindly visit www.wcrfcure.org or www.Instagram.com/wcrfcure.

Missoni, known for its colorful geometric motifs, created the exclusive 2017 Key To The Cure t-shirt. The design will be available for purchase from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 at all Saks Fifth Avenue locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as on saks.com. One hundred percent of proceeds from the $35 t-shirt will be donated to twelve local cancer charities, including American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and TGen Foundation, among others.

It’s an honor to design the coveted Key To The Cure t-shirt for Saks Fifth Avenue,” said Angela Missoni. “This year marks my 20th anniversary as the Creative Director for Missoni and what better way to celebrate than to join the amazing roster of designers who have used their creative voices to support such an extraordinary cause.

Jennifer Lopez will act as the official 2017 WCRF Ambassador, appearing in the KTTC advertising campaign as well as in a Saks Fifth Avenue-sponsored national public service announcement. Past ambassadors and designer collaborations have included Halle Berry and Christian Louboutin, Jennifer Aniston and Peter Dundas, Gwyneth Paltrow and Karl Lagerfeld, and Heidi Klum and Michael Kors, among many well-known others.

For more information, kindly visit saks.com, Facebook.com/saks, Instagram.com/saks, Twitter.com/saks, Pinterest.com/saks, and Snapchat.com/saks_official.

Health 101: Planned Parenthood and Black AIDS Institute Announces Program to Expand Comprehensive HIV Prevention Services at Health Centers Across the Country

Planned Parenthood recently announced a multi-phase pilot program to build and expand its comprehensive HIV prevention and education efforts. Gilead Sciences, Inc, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, awarded the $900,000 grant to support and expand efforts of HIV prevention and education, including the integration of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) awareness, at Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers across the country over the next 18 months. It is the first significant corporate grant of its kind awarded to Planned Parenthood and will focus critical prevention efforts in communities hardest hit by the epidemic. PrEP is the medical practice of prescribing antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. This is further proof that Planned Parenthood is more than just about legalized abortion services. (But then, most women knew that already.)

Planned Parenthood logo 2

Planned Parenthood logo

Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, compassionate care in health centers across the country, including nearly 700,000 HIV tests each year. Planned Parenthood health centers are uniquely positioned to deliver HIV prevention services and education to disproportionately impacted communities, including Black women, Latinas, transgender people, young adults of all backgrounds, and men who have sex with men, especially people of color.

The grant work will be carried out in partnership with The Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people.Black AIDS Institute logo

Planned Parenthood is thrilled to be launching this incredibly exciting project. Although this country has made progress toward greater health care equity, disparities in HIV rates remain a serious issue for too many people and too many communities,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Rates of new HIV cases, along with barriers to treatment and health care access, continue to more greatly impact marginalized communities. With this grant, Planned Parenthood can implement life-saving awareness and care not otherwise funded at this scale. It furthers our mission to provide all people, especially those already facing barriers to accessing quality health care, with comprehensive and cutting-edge HIV prevention methods, including PrEP“.

The majority of the grant will directly support the efforts of Planned Parenthood affiliates to develop training and resources aimed at delivering a comprehensive program of HIV prevention, including PrEP and other methods, in health centers across the country. It will also go toward the creation of patient education materials to reach populations most at-risk for HIV, as well as capacity-building sustainable learning modules across affiliates.

Despite the life-saving advances in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for treatment and prevention, HIV remains an urgent public health crisis, especially for certain marginalized communities who face barriers to affordable, quality health care. According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveillance report, women of color, particularly Black women, are disproportionately affected by HIV, accounting for the majority of the HIV infections, women living with HIV, and HIV-related deaths among women in the U.S.

While awareness of antiretroviral medication as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among men who have sex with men (MSM) has risen significantly, women at risk for HIV still face several challenges in getting the services and information they need, including structural and cultural barriers such as poverty, HIV stigma, and a relative lack of access to healthcare professionals trained to offer comprehensive HIV prevention, including PrEP and other methods.

As part of our mission to help people live healthy lives, Planned Parenthood works every day in communities across the country and with partners around the world so that everyone — no matter who they are or where they live — can access accurate, high-quality, compassionate sexual and reproductive health care.

Phill Wilson, Founder of the Black AIDS Instuitute

Phill Wilson, President, and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.

The Black AIDS Institute is proud to partner with Planned Parenthood to expand comprehensive HIV prevention services to Black Women“, Phill Wilson, President, and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “Given the disproportionate impact HIV is having on Black women and the new tools we have at our disposal, this is the right thing to do at the right time.”

Scientific innovation has greatly improved our ability to address the HIV epidemic,” said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs for Gilead Sciences, Inc. Alongside that innovation, diverse programs and partnerships are helping to ensure we can reach those most in need of treatment and prevention options. Prevention strategies, including PrEP and other methods, can have a meaningful impact on public health, offering an unparalleled opportunity to avert new infections and reduce long term costs to the bai_prep_coverhealthcare system.”

Dr. McDonald-Mosley added, “Training and resourcing more medical providers to provide HIV and PrEP education, with a particular focus on prevention in underserved communities, is a job for which Planned Parenthood is uniquely suited. For over 100 years, we’ve been fighting to ensure that people — no matter where they live — can access accurate, nonjudgmental preventive care and education so they can keep themselves and their families healthy.”

Over 40% of people living with HIV in the U.S are Black. Nearly 50% of new HIV infections in this country are Black. and 1 in 32 black women, 1 in 16 black men, and 1 and 2 Black Gay men will be diagnosed with HIV infection in their lifetime. Yet 85% of current PrEP users are white men. What’s wrong with this picture“, says Leisha McKinley Beach, technical assistance consultant, Black AIDS Institute.