For Immediate Release, September 15, 2016
ACT NOW: END AIDS / A national Ending the Epidemic Coalition launches at the United States Conference on AIDS
Hollywood, FL—On Thursday, September 15th, at 11:00am, during a press conference at the United States Conference on AIDS, 19 organizations from around the country officially announced their formation of the ACT NOW: END AIDS Coalition and launched their combined efforts to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States.
During the conference, coalition co-chairs Dazon Dixon Diallo of SisterLove (Atlanta, GA) and Charles King of Housing Works (New York, NY), shared the coalition’s vision for moving forward an agenda to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States. “We have come together, in all our diversities, because we believe an end to the AIDS epidemic in the United States is within our reach. It is imperative that we share our resources and experiences and support with each other in order to make this a reality for everyone,” said Dixon Diallo. Other speakers included DeAnn Gruber, Board Chair of NASTAD, Venita Ray from Legacy Community Health, Houston, and Alex Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy for AIDS Alabama.
The formation of this national coalition is an exciting and historic development in the fight to end AIDS in the United States. In 2016, we have the tools and knowledge to end the epidemic, even without a cure, by expanding testing services, linking those living with HIV to treatment, expanding access to prevention options like PrEP and PEP, and working to address the social drivers of HIV such as homelessness and stigma. “In New York State we have made tremendous strides, setting the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic in New York by 2020. We want build on that momentum, facilitating partnerships and offering technical support for other advocates throughout the country to do the same in their own jurisdictions,” said ACT NOW co-chair Charles King. In 2014, New York State committed to be the first jurisdiction to end AIDS as an epidemic by the year 2020, followed by San Francisco, which committed to getting to zero new HIV infections by the year 2030. Several other jurisdictions throughout the country including Washington, Colorado, Fulton County, and Pittsburgh have made similar commitments.
ACT NOW: END AIDS is comprised of organizations and leaders who have been working on HIV/AIDS research, services, and advocacy since the height of the epidemic in the 1990s. This coalition will work together to provide technical assistance to individuals and organizations nationwide who are doing work on the city, state, and regional level to address the specific needs of their communities in terms of policy, budget, outreach, and education. The ACT NOW coalition will also help facilitate relationships with health departments to share the data necessary to set and achieve benchmarks to ending the epidemic.
During USCA, on Saturday, September 17th, the Act Now Coalition will conduct an all-day fishbowl-style learning collaborative in which those working in jurisdictions to end AIDS as an epidemic will share best practices, goals, and challenges with each other and with representatives from cities, counties, and states that have yet to make a commitment to ending the epidemic by a certain date.
ACT NOW coalition members include: Treatment Action Group, Housing Works, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), New York AIDS Institute, AIDS United, Black AIDS Institute, 30 for 30, NASTAD, AIDS Alabama, Latino Commission on AIDS, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, NMAC, Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Southern AIDS Coalition, AIDS Free Pittsburgh, Sister Love, Getting to Zero Massachusetts, END AIDS Dallas, Legacy Community Health.