Joint Statement on HIV/AIDS

6/3/2013

Various

For Immediate Release:

June 3, 2013

Contact:

Terry Stone (212) 809-8585 x.266 Kyle Murphy, (202) 803-8027

terry@lgbtcenters.org kmurphy@nmac.org

 

Thirty-Five LGBT and HIV Advocacy Groups Mark Pride Month with Joint Statement on HIV/AIDS

Executive Directors Urge Broader LGBT Movement to Re-engage in Fight to End the Epidemic

Washington, DC – As the nation marks the opening of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, executive directors from 35 LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations from across the United States have released a joint letter committing themselves and their organizations to re-engaging the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV. While issues like marriage equality and employment protections for LGBT workers have taken center stage, HIV continues to ravage the LGBT community.  Despite making up just two percent of the population, gay and bisexual men accounted for more than 63 percent of new HIV infections in 2010.  In fact, gay men are the only group in which HIV infections are increasing.

“We are at an important crossroad in our fight against HIV,” said National Minority AIDS Council Executive Director Paul Kawata.  “The evidence behind treatment as prevention, and expansions in health care coverage that will accompany implementation of the Affordable Care Act, have provided a unique opportunity to end this epidemic, which has ravaged our community for more than three decades.  But this will not happen without the full engagement of those most impacted by the disease, and no community has been more heavily affected than the LGBT community.  I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign to re-energize the LGBT response and work together to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation.”

“Since the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, LGBT community centers have led the way in providing care and support services for those living with HIV/AIDS,” said Terry Stone, Executive Director of CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers. “These centers continue to provide testing and prevention services, education and outreach, and remain committed to averting the proliferation of the virus.”

Metro Wellness & Community Centers Executive Director Lorraine Langlois added: “Community centers have been at the forefront of HIV care and prevention  for our disenfranchised  LGBT community. Metro Community Centers have provided HIV/AIDS care for twenty years and finally there is now adequate funding and a path to end the epidemic.Now our focus must be to reach out to our new generation of our young men and transgender community and re-engage them and all of our GBLT community in the  fight and get us all to the finish line of this horrific disease.”

Below is an excerpt from today’s joint statement:

Over the last 30 years, the [LGBT] community has seen great strides in the movement for full equality.  Much of this success is the result of a concerted movement, which was galvanized in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s…In the decades since our movement has seen incredible victories… Unfortunately, our community hasn’t maintained the same momentum in our fight against HIV…Each day, more than 80 gay and bisexual men become infected with HIV in the United States…Despite these alarming statistics, which have galvanized our community in the past, the HIV epidemic has seemed to fall by the way side.  Many in our community have simply stopped talking about the issue.  This must change.

The entire letter and accompanying video can be viewed online here:  www.wethelgbt.org

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CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers exists to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and to build a unified center movement.  CenterLink plays an important role in supporting the growth of LGBT community centers across the country and addressing the challenges they face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity , and increasing their access to public resources.  Fpr more information visit www.lgbtcenters.org

The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) represents a coalition of faith based and community based organizations as well as AIDS service organizations advocating and delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide.  Since 1987, NMAC has developed leadership in communities of color through a variety of advocacy campaigns, public policy education programs, national conferences, research programs, capacity building, technical assistance and trainings, and digital and electronic resource materials. For more information visit www.nmac.org.

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