Dream of an AIDS-Free Generation, Is No Longer Just a Dream
Washington, DC — On World AIDS Day, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is thrilled to stand with organizations across the U.S. and the globe in renewing its commitment to end this 30 year epidemic. We will not rest until this year’s theme of “Getting to Zero” is realized and this epidemic is over. For the first time in the history of our movement, we have the tools to accomplish this. Policies like the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help expand access to quality care and treatment services, while advances in research have provided powerful new prevention tools that will transform the way we combat this disease.
“We have made huge strides over the last 30 years,” said NMAC Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya. “Our movement, which started in response to an epidemic that no one else seemed willing or able to address, has grown to include a world-wide network of organizations, activists, care providers, businesses and government agencies, all working toward the common goal of eradicating HIV. Today, Republicans and Democrats alike, recognize the importance of addressing this public health crisis, placing humanity above politics. And while together, we have accomplished much, there remains significant work to be done.”
As President Obama stated in his remarks today at George Washington University, “we are going to win this fight, but the fight is not over.” During his speech, the President announced that he will be allocating an additional $50 million in funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides treatment and care services to hundreds of thousands of individuals living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. $35 million would go to the nation’s struggling AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), which currently have over 6,500 individuals languishing on wait lists. The other $15 million would go towards funding Ryan White medical clinics.
“NMAC is pleased that the President has committed an additional $50 million to Ryan White programs,” continued Montoya. “As he himself acknowledged in his remarks, ‘we now know that treatment is prevention.’ As such, we must ensure that all those living with HIV and AIDS have access, not only to treatment, but services to ensure that they can adhere to those treatments and can successfully suppress their viral loads. The President’s allocation of funds to both ADAP and Ryan White medical clinics demonstrates that he understands and supports the spectrum of services necessary to tackle this epidemic.”
“Last month, NMAC changed its mission to ‘developing leadership in communities of color to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic,’” added Montoya. “When I was diagnosed with HIV 24 years ago, the prospect of ending the epidemic in my lifetime seemed unimaginable. Today, we have the tools necessary to make this vision a reality. As President Obama said this morning, ‘we can beat this disease, we can win this fight.’ NMAC is proud to stand with him and the global HIV/AIDS community in that struggle. Now is our time. We are ready to work.”
NMAC and Gilead Sciences released a public service announcement to mark World AIDS Day 2011, which can be viewed here.
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622