National AIDS Memorial Honors Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for Three Decades of Courageous Leadership in the Fight Against HIV and AIDS

San Francisco’s Congresswoman, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, joined hundreds of volunteers at the National AIDS Memorial for a community volunteer workday to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. Since her first days in Washington D.C., she has been a leader, champion, and hero on the issue of HIV/AIDS and her avid support of the LGBT community.

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(L-R) John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial, joins Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as she presents a special certificate of recognition to the National AIDS Memorial gardener Ali McCarthy at the National AIDS Memorial, San Francisco, Calif.(Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

During the morning activities, Congresswoman Pelosi joined volunteers as they planted flowers, new shrubs, and a tree, in addition to helping maintain the grounds of the Nation’s AIDS Memorial. The event also marked a significant milestone for the National AIDS Memorial as it has surpassed 200,000 hours given by community volunteers to create and maintain the 10-acre living memorial.

For the past thirty years, Congresswoman Pelosi has worked courageously to advance the issue of HIV/AIDS, supporting major funding, research, and programs that have been critically important to the advancements and improvement of the quality of life for those living with the disease. In 1996 she successfully spearheaded the passage of legislation that was signed by President Bill Clinton designating San Francisco’s AIDS Memorial Grove, as a National Memorial.

image005Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and long-time volunteer Tom Jensen plant a new magnolia tree near the main entrance of the National AIDS Memorial on Bowling Green Drive, San Francisco, Calif., to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. (Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

Thirty years ago our community was ravaged by AIDS and with the leadership of Congresswoman Pelosi we came together here in this grove to heal and remember our lost friends and loved ones,” said John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial. “Her courage to stand-up and fight for our community paved the way for this memorial. Without her leadership, is memorial would not be possible. We are forever grateful for her tireless spirit, love and willingness to fight for our cause.

Congresswoman Pelosi has faithfully commemorated her milestone years in Congress by volunteering at the Grove. She has volunteered on many other occasions over the years, often bringing her family and grandchildren to be a regular part of the Grove’s Community Volunteer Workdays.

Since the first Workday in 1991, nearly 40,000 volunteers have participated in more than 300 Community Volunteer Workdays, donating more than 200,000 volunteer hours and planting more than 10,000 trees, plants and shrubs.

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San Francisco Board of Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, California State Assembly Member David Chiu, California State Senator Scott Wiener join Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi at the NationalAIDS Memorial, San Francisco Calif., for a community workday to commemorate her 30 years in Congress. Also included –Mike Shriver, Chair, National AIDS Memorial, John Cunningham, Executive Director, National AIDS Memorial. (Photo Credit: Melvin Morris)

The National AIDS Memorial is not just a place for where we come and remember those we’ve lost, it is a place where people from around the country, around the world, can come together to remember their lives, to hope and continue working tirelessly until we find a cure,” said Congresswoman Pelosi. “This sacred ground honors all who have been touched by HIV/AIDS but more importantly, it forever keeps their spirit, their love and their stories with us and so future generations never forget. This grove inspires us to keep fighting in their memory and for what’s right.”

For more information visit www.aidsmemorial.org, follow on Facebook @NationalAIDSMemorial or @AIDS_Memorial on Twitter.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Receives $10,000 Grant From The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in Partnership with Macy’s

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a grant for $10,000 from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in partnership with Macy’s to fund an HIV prevention program tailored for LGBT youth. The grant will be used by the Center’s Sexual Health and Education Program, which provides cutting-edge HIV prevention care that includes rapid HIV antibody testing, ultra-sensitive PCR/DNA HIV testing, comprehensive Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and STI treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and more.

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The Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Center is honored to be recognized by ETAF for its unique work in the community. Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. The organization is an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society.

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The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) logo

The late Dame Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, especially the most marginalized communities. Today, ETAF also provides grants for innovative HIV prevention education and advocacy programs to existing organizations around the world. With aagrd8rrkey domestic advocacy funding focuses on comprehensive sexual health education and HIV criminalization reform, ETAF continues to bring the marginalized to the center of attention and advocate for their rights. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has granted to more than 675 organizations in 44 countries and nearly all 50 states in the U.S.

The work that the Los Angeles LGBT Center does to help people affected by HIV/AIDS is impressive and very much aligned with Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate commitment to the cause,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF and our partners at Macy’s are thrilled to present the Los Angeles LGBT Center with these funds to help further our shared mission.”macys-logo

Through their Cause Marketing Program, Macy’s recognizes their responsibility to the community and their concern for the needs of their neighbors. They are proud to partner with ETAF and have contributed to this grant.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Announces National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2017, February 7

African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States. Gay and bisexual men account for more than half of estimated new HIV diagnoses among African Americans. The number of HIV diagnoses among African American women has declined, though it is still high compared to women of other races/ethnicities.nbhaad-social-images-instagram

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). The theme for NBHAAD, I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS, emphasizes the role that everyone can play in HIV prevention.

Coordinated by the Strategic Leadership Council, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7 to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities.nhbaad-get-educated-640x640

Compared to other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, blacks/African Americans* have a disproportionate burden of HIV and AIDS. While blacks represent approximately 12% of the US population, they account for more new HIV diagnoses (44%) and people living with HIV (41%) than any other racial/ethnic group. Among all blacks, black gay and bisexual men account for the majority of new infections. Young black gay and bisexual men are especially affected.nhbaad-get-involved-640x640

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  • In 2014, 44% (19,540) of estimated new HIV diagnoses in the United States were among African Americans, who comprise 12% of the US population.
  • Among all African Americans diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 73% (14,305) were men and 26% (5,128) were women.
  • Among all African Americans diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 57% (11,201) were gay or bisexual men.c Of those gay and bisexual men, 39% (4,321) were young men aged 13 to 24.
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among African American women fell 42%, though it is still high compared to women of other races/ethnicities. In 2014, an estimated 1,350 Hispanic/Latino women and 1,483 white women were diagnosed with HIV, compared to 5,128 African American women.nhbaad-get-tested-640x640
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among African American gay and bisexual men increased 22%. But that number stabilized in recent years, increasing less than 1% since 2010.
  • From 2005 to 2014, the number of new HIV diagnoses among young African American gay and bisexual men (aged 13 to 24) increased 87%. But that trend has leveled off recently, with the number declining 2% since 2010.
  • In 2014, an estimated 48% (10,045) of those diagnosed with AIDS in the United States were African Americans. By the end of 2014, 42% (504,354) of those ever diagnosed with AIDS were African Americans.nhbaad-get-treated-640x640

Living With HIV and Deaths Continue reading

HIV & AIDS in the United States Update: World AIDS Day Letter

The following letter was released by Dr. Jonathan H. Mermin and Dr. Eugene McCray of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention in celebration of World AIDS Day 2016.cdc-logo

December 1 is World AIDS Day, a day to unite in the fight against HIV, support people living with HIV, and honor those who have lost their life. This year’s theme, Leadership. Commitment. Impact., asks each of us to strengthen our commitment to stop HIV using the most up-to-date, evidence-based HIV interventions, prevention tools, and testing options available. In 2015, 39,513 people received a diagnosis of HIV, and over 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States.

Recent trends in HIV diagnoses show some promising signs of progress. From 2010 to 2014, the annual number of HIV diagnoses in the United States declined by 9%, driven doingit-vertical-adam-shankmanby declines among heterosexuals and people who inject drugs (PWID). Diagnoses stabilized among gay and bisexual men overall, though trends varied by age, race and ethnicity. African Americans and Latinos continue to be disproportionally affected by HIV, compared with other races and ethnicities.

Despite gains in HIV prevention among PWID, the prescription opioid epidemic and increases in heroin use may threaten this success. PWID are at high risk for HIV and viral hepatitis if they share injection equipment. Today, we have options to help ensure that all PWID have access to prevention services. According to a new edition of CDC’s Vital Signs, released this week,

  • PWID account for 9% of HIV diagnoses in the United States, though they make up only 0.3% of the population.
  • Last year, only 1 in 4 PWID (in 22 US cities) got all their syringes from sterile sources such as syringe services programs (SSPs) and pharmacies.
  • SSPs that are comprehensive not only provide PWID with better access to sterile injection equipment, but also medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder, HIV and hepatitis testing, and other HIV prevention options like condoms, behavioral interventions, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, a daily pill that can prevent HIV).

States and local communities now have the opportunity to use federal funds under some circumstances to support SSPs. CDC guidance is available for partners interested in implementing SSPs, where permitted by local law.

On World AIDS Day and every day, [the] CDC is dedicated to reducing new HIV infections among all populations and improving health outcomes for those who are living with HIV. Current activities include

  • Awards of at least $330 million each year since 2012 ($343.7 million in 2015) to health departments to direct resources to the populations and geographic areas of greatest need and prioritize the HIV prevention strategies that will have the greatest impact.
  • The Capacity Building Assistance for High-Impact HIV Prevention national program that provides training and technical assistance for health departments, community-based organizations, and health care organizations to help them better address gaps in the HIV continuum of care and provide high-impact prevention to HIV-negative persons.

  • The Act Against AIDS initiative that raises awareness about HIV testing and prevention through campaigns and partnerships. For example,

    • Let’s Stop HIV Together is a campaign that raises awareness and fights stigma among all Americans and provides stories about people living with HIV.

    • Doing It is a national testing and prevention campaign that encourages all adults to know their HIV status and make HIV testing a part of their regular health routine.

    • Partnering and Communicating Together (PACT) to Act Against AIDS is a partnership with organizations such as AIDS United and I Choose Life to raise HIV awareness among populations disproportionately affected by HIV.

Thank you for your hard work and commitment to prevent HIV. Through our commitment, collaboration, and coordination, we can continue to reduce HIV incidence for all Americans and help all people with HIV live long, healthy lives.

Sincerely,

Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH

RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS/Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/nchhstp

Eugene McCray, MD

Director, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/hiv

Gap, in Partnership with (RED), Launches Limited-Edition Collection of Utility Jackets Designed by International Street Artists

The Unisex Collection Available For Adults And Kids Launches In Conjunction With World Aids Day With Proceeds Benefitting The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Gap is continuing to commemorate (RED)’s 10th anniversary and its role as the founding apparel partner of the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver. In anticipation of World AIDS Day, on December 1, Gap will launch a collection of their iconic Utility Jackets featuring custom designs by six of the most renowned female street artists from around the world. The talented group of women is2000px-gap_logo-svg notable for their exciting, thought-provoking work and for creating awareness of contributions by women in street art.

The unisex styles for men and women was launched on November 29th, coinciding with Giving Tuesday, a day to give back and do good. A portion of proceeds of this collection will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, adding to the $10 million dollars that Gap has already contributed to the organization over the last 10 years.

The collection includes designs by Shiro, KASHINK, Kelsey Montague, FAITH XLVII and AIKO retailing for $198, as well as a special crochet jacket by Olek retailing for $298. Designs by Shiro and Kelsey Montague will also be offered in versions for boys and girls for $128.

Olek: Olek is a Polish-born street artist and activist whose preferred medium — crochet — captivates audiences all over the world. Inspired by everything from personal text messages to train travel, she believes that life and art are inseparable.

Shiro: Shiro is an internationally recognized graffiti artist from Japan. She loves music, people, and culture. Shiro travels by herself and paints walls all over the world.

KASHINK: KASHINK is an internationally recognized street artist and social activist from Paris. Her large-scale murals celebrate the beauty of human diversity.

Kelsey Montague: Kelsey Montague is an international street artist and coloring book author known for intricate pen-and-ink drawings and a thriving social media campaign that transforms her interactive public murals into living works of art.

FAITH XLVII: A prolific, internationally acclaimed South African visual artist, FAITH XLVII is known for her street paintings, which explore the human condition. Her work spans many mediums, from painting and printmaking to video.

AIKO: Since moving from her native Tokyo to NYC in the late 90’s, AIKO has become a well-respected contemporary artist in the international street art scene, where her feminine, Pop Art-inspired graffiti has a global following.

(RED) was founded in 2006 to engage businesses and people in the fight against AIDS. (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands that contribute up to 50% of profits from (RED)-branded goods and services to the Global Fund. (RED) Proud Partners include: Apple, Bank of America, Beats by Dr. Dre, Belvedere, Claro, The Coca-Cola Company, GAP, Lokai, MCM, NetJets, Salesforce, SAP, Starbucks, Telcel. (RED) Special Edition partners include: aden+anais, Alessi, ALEX AND ANI, Fatboy USA, Fresh, Girl Skateboards, Gretsch, HEAD, Le Creuset, Live Nation Entertainment, Moleskine, Mophie, Piaggio and Wolfnoir.

To date, (RED) has generated $360 million for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to support HIV/AIDS grants in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. 100 percent of that money goes to work on the ground – no overhead is taken. Global Fund grants that (RED) supports have impacted more than 70 million people with prevention, treatment, counseling, HIV testing and care services. (RED) is a division of The ONE Campaign. Learn more at www.red.org

Gap is thrilled to partner with these talented and visionary women who are each bringing their own creative aesthetic to our iconic utility jacket,” said Wendi Goldman, Gap executive vice president and chief product officer. “We worked closely with (RED) to select artists with diverse points of view who are creating meaningful work that inspires and empowers. Each jacket offers a unique expression that customers can wear with pride to show their commitment to (RED)‘s important mission.”

We are so grateful to these extraordinary artists for applying their limitless talent to further (RED)’s fight against AIDS,” said Deborah Dugan, (RED) chief executive officer. “This collaboration with Gap is truly unique and can’t fail to capture the imaginations of fashion fans this winter.”

World AIDS Day 2016: A Public Dedication of the New York City AIDS Memorial

Community Leaders, Activists, Donors, And Elected Officials To Gather At Seventh Avenue & Greenwich Avenue On December 1, 2016

On World AIDS Day 2016 (December 1), advocates and members of the HIV/AIDS communities will come together to remember those lost to AIDS, to honor the lives of those living with HIV, and to hold the vision for an end to the AIDS epidemic in New York.

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(PRNewsFoto/New York City AIDS Memorial)

The New York City AIDS Memorial Board of Directors and representatives, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York State Department of Health, and the END AIDS NY 2020 Coalition have joined forces to host a public dedication of the newly completed New York City AIDS Memorial. The event opens to press at 10:15 a.m. and the program will begin at 11:00 a.m.

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Artist rendition of the New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle.

The Memorial is the primary feature of a new public park, the New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle. The park sits between Seventh Avenue, Greenwich Avenue and West 12th Street in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood and is the culmination of five years of planning and development. The Memorial project was launched in 2011 by Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn to recognize and preserve the history of the AIDS crisis through the creation of a memorial to honor New York City’s 100,000+ men, women and children who have died from AIDS, and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of the caregivers and activists who responded heroically to the crisis and continue to work towards the end of AIDS today. More than $6 million has been raised for the design, construction and maintenance of the Memorial, which has benefited from the generosity of many notable contributors, including world-renowned visual artist Jenny Holzer.

This World AIDS Day program will be emceed by Tony Award-winning performer Billy Porter. The program will feature a formal dedication by the New York City AIDS Memorial Board of Directors, words from elected officials, a memorial reading of names, a poetry reading by Kamilah Aisha Moon, and a performance by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Representatives from the State and City Health Departments will also speak.

END AIDS NY 2020 is a statewide coalition of over 70 organizations and individuals committed to seeing an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York through initiatives that expand access to testing, treatment, prevention, as well as housing and other vital services. We have the power to reduce annual new HIV infections from roughly 3,000 to under 750 and eliminate HIV/ AIDS-related deaths by the year 2020. The coalition has been working together on policy and also has joined forces for a New York-wide World AIDS Day event for the past two years at the Apollo Theater.

For more information or to contribute to the New York City AIDS Memorial, visit www.nycaidsmemorial.org.

National Aids Memorial in San Francisco Commemorates 25 Years Of Remembrance, Healing And Hope With Ceremony Honoring Long-time Supporters

Volunteers gather for Community Volunteer Workday; Pay tribute to friends and loved ones lost to HIV/AIDS

Twenty-five years ago a small group of San Francisco residents representing a community devastated by the AIDS epidemic gathered in a dilapidated grove in Golden Gate Park to restore it and create a serene place where people seeking healing could gather to express their collective grief through a living memorial, an AIDS Memorial.

This past week, hundreds of supporters, volunteers and community leaders came together in “The Grove” to commemorate the 25th anniversary of what is now the National AIDS Memorial. A special ceremony paid tribute the original founders and honored supporters, including the City of San Francisco, who have helped in its mission to provide, in perpetuity, a place of remembrance so that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and their stories are known by future generations.

Twenty-five years ago our community was ravaged by AIDS and we came together here in this Grove to heal and remember our lost friends and loved ones,” said Jack Porter, a 25-year volunteer who lost his partner Stephen Marcus to AIDS and was honored with the “Heart of the Grove” award for his years of dedication and service. “Today, this memorial has evolved into a national treasure for our entire country to remember, seek comfort and ensure that we always keep their memory alive in our hearts.”

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Circle of Friends: Volunteers and supporters gather in the “Circle of Friends” at the National AIDS Memorial following a special 25th anniversary commemoration event and Community Volunteer Workday to pay tribute to lost friends and loved ones to HIV/AIDS.

The 25th anniversary tribute began with hundreds of volunteers helping landscape and plant trees and shrubbery on the grounds of the memorial, followed by a ceremony in the Circle of Friends in honor of those lost to HIV/AIDS and an emotional performance by members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Community leaders in attendance included State Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Christine Pelosi, former National AIDS Memorial Board member & long-time supporter.

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Unveiling of Boulder: Senator Mark Leno joins Christine Pelosi; Phil Ginsburg general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department; John Cunningham executive director of the National AIDS Memorial; Mike Shriver, chair of the board of the National AIDS Memorial; and San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener unveil a commemorative boulder at the National AIDS Memorial honoring the City of San Francisco as part of the 25th anniversary of the National AIDS Memorial.

Since 1991, nearly 25,000 volunteers have donated more than 150,000 hours participating in monthly Community Volunteer Workdays and other events to support the National AIDS Memorial. Every third Saturday from March to October, volunteers ranging from the very young to the elderly come together to help maintain the Grove, clearing overgrowth, reintroducing native species and planting new trees, plants and shrubs.

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NAM 25th Anniversary Ceremony: (L to R) Christine Pelosi, State Senator Mark Leno, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, and John Cunningham, executive director, National AIDS Memorial.

That dedication, commitment and support set in motion passage of legislation spearheaded by U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 making the Grove this nation’s sole federally-designated National AIDS Memorial. Continue reading