Last Sunday, ONE members joined RESULTS and other Global Fund friends and partners for the the 26th Annual San Francisco AIDS Walk. During the event, we had the opportunity to meet with AIDS champion and leader Rep. Barbara Lee, who recently participated in National HIV Testing Day.
Congresswoman Lee expressed gratitude for our work and participation in the AIDS walk, and said she was looking forward to the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., this week. ONE members are looking forward to the conference as well, delivering petitions this week to urge Congress to maintain funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund.
Here at home, San Francisco has been on the front lines, both fighting the disease and the stigma for decades. In 1982, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation was established in response to the health crisis of the then-unnamed HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care, San Francisco AIDS Foundation follows its mission to radically reduce new infections in San Francisco, refusing to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.
In 1987, the first AIDS Walk San Francisco was created and produced by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Designed to raise urgently needed funds for San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and to battle the stigma that so many associated with HIV/AIDS.
ONE members and global partners like RESULTS broaden the scope of this message in their advocacy efforts. While 1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS, 34 million people around the world have been diagnosed, of which 23 million live on the content of Africa. The Global Fund and PEPFAR have helped provide 6.6 million people worldwide with access to life-saving AIDS treatment, up from 300,000 in 2002, through small investments — which make up less than 1 percent of the US budget.
Next week, during the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., policy makers, persons living with HIV and individuals committed to seeing an end of the pandemic will meet to assess progress opportunities and solutions going forward.
In order to see the beginning of the end of AIDS and the first AIDS-free generation, we must pursue every opportunity to ensure we’re advocating for smart solutions globally while taking action locally. Way to go walkers and thank you Rep. Lee!