NMAC Honors National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day with New Online Materials and a Poster Contest



Circe Gray Le Compte, Director of Communications
Telephone: (202) 234-5120 ext. 309 * E-mail: clecompte@nmac.org

The National Minority AIDS Council Honors HIV Vaccine Awareness Day This Sunday, May 18, 2008 by Launching New Online Materials and Poster Contest

May 17, 2008 – Washington, DC – The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) will honor HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) this Sunday, May 18. This annual observance day recognizes and thanks volunteers, health professionals, scientists and community members who are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine.

It also raises awareness around the necessity of an HIV vaccine in controlling – and one day ending – the AIDS epidemic worldwide. No major viral epidemic, including smallpox and polio, has been defeated without a vaccine. And in the United States, the very survival of communities of color, which have been hardest hit by AIDS since the epidemic began, may depend upon its discovery.

Vaccine research of any kind is time consuming, and requires multiple trials with a diverse range of people to ensure that they work for the entire population. To support vaccine research on HVAD and beyond, please visit NMAC’s new HIV Vaccine Day Awareness home page, located on its website at www.nmac.org. Another online resource is the “Be the Generation” website: www.bethegeneration.org, operated by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which spearheads much of the AIDS vaccine research worldwide. These sites offer insightful information, resources and online tools, as well as details about local HVAD events taking place nationwide.

All adults, and people of color in particular, are encouraged to consider becoming vaccine trial volunteers – and to encourage others to do so as well. Volunteers are not exposed to, or infected with, HIV. Indeed, the safety of vaccine trial volunteers is the number one priority of researchers conducting these studies. (For more information, visit NMAC online today: www.nmac.org.)

NMAC also is pleased to announce the launch of its HIV Vaccine Awareness Poster Contest. Open to amateur artists aged 15 and older, entries may be submitted in any artistic medium – from paint and brush to Adobe Illustrator – and are due on or before June 30, 2008. Submissions must encourage everyone to join the fight against AIDS and learn more about HIV vaccines.

The top three posters will be featured on the NMAC website and displayed at the annual United States Conference on AIDS – the largest AIDS meeting held annually in this country – September 18-21, in Miami Beach, FL. The winner will be decided prior to the conference through a national poll and made into a postcard for distribution to our constituents nationwide. He/She also will receive a free roundtrip domestic airline ticket good for travel to anywhere in the continental United States. For more information, visit www.nmac.org, or contact NMAC’s Communications Division at (202) 234-5120 or communications@nmac.org.