Arriving in Washington D.C. this Saturday July 21st, hundreds of AIDS advocates will board eight “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” trains—originating from New Orleans, Louisiana; Toledo, Ohio; Newport News, Virginia; Providence, Rhode Island; Miami, Florida; New York, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia—headed for D.C.
Advocates will join thousands expected to gather at Washington Monument on Sunday, July 22nd for the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” Rally & March prior to the opening ceremonies of the XIX International AIDS Conference
WASHINGTON D.C. (July 19, 2012) Hundreds of HIV/AIDS activists throughout the U.S. South, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast will board eight “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” trains—sponsored by the largest global AIDS organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)—headed to Washington D.C. to participate in the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March on Washington on Sunday, July 22nd at 2:00pm at the Washington Monument just prior to the opening ceremonies of the XIX International AIDS Conference.
In total, nearly eight hundred AHF-sponsored advocates will board eight Amtrak trains throughout Friday and Saturday—from New Orleans, Louisiana; Toledo, Ohio; Newport News, Virginia; Providence, Rhode Island; Miami, Florida; New York, New York; Charlotte, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia—to take part in the march and let their voices be heard on the most pressing national HIV/AIDS access issues, including the U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists. A funding crisis has left nearly 2,000 Americans in 9 states languishing on waiting lists, hoping to access lifesaving AIDS medications.
WHAT: Media Availability: Hundreds of AIDS Advocates Boarding Eight “Keep the Promise” Trains to Participate in “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March on Washington before the XIX International AIDS Conference
WHEN: Friday, July 20th and Saturday, July 21st
WHERE: FLORIDA– departs Friday morning from Miami, stops in West Palm Beach, Sebring, Tampa
B-Roll: Train wrapped in “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” imagery
Local Media Contact: Janet Kitchen (813) 857-2974
GEORGIA – departs Saturday morning from Savannah, stops in Florence, South Carolina and Fayetteville, North Carolina
Local Media Contact: Evelyn Scott (843) 838-2879
LOUISIANA – departs Friday morning from New Orleans, stops in Hattiesburg & Meridian, Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia
Local Media Contact: William Francis (678) 754-6291
OHIO – departs from Toledo
VIRGINIA – departs from Newport News
RHODE ISLAND – departs from Providence
NEW YORK – departs from New York City
NORTH CAROLINA – departs from Charlotte
WHO: Hundreds of HIV/AIDS advocates from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Virginia, Rhode Island, New York, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina
Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director, (323) 791-5526
Lori Yeghiayan, AHF Associate Director of Communications (323) 377-4312
Thousands are expected to participate in the “Keep the Promise” march—an historic march which seeks to bring attention to the need for the U.S. and countries around the world to “Keep the Promise” on HIV/AIDS at a time when many nations—including the U.S.—are retreating on funding commitments, threatening to reverse thirty years of progress.
The march will begin at the Washington Monument with a program that includes a performance by musician and activist Wyclef Jean. Joining him onstage will be keynote speaker former U.S. Congressman Ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton, broadcaster and author Tavis Smiley, prominent democratic intellectual Dr. Cornel West and—in a special message from South Africa—the highly-regarded human rights activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Comedienne Margaret Cho will serve as host.
Spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the “Keep the Promise” coalition includes a broad group of like-minded supporters from across the U.S. and around the world. 1,432 organizations from 103 countries and 2,333 individuals have signed on in support of the March and the “Keep the Promise” Declaration.
“We are so excited to welcome these hundreds of advocates to Washington D.C., as it is their voices that needs to be heard by leaders in Washington and the world over with the message that the war on AIDS has not been won,” said Terri Ford, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy and the lead organizer of the march.
The ‘Keep the Promise’ rally and march will serve as a clarion call for universal access to AIDS care and treatment; for more efficient use of the limited funding from sources including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Program; for big world economies and the G20 to fully fund the Global Fund as well as for the lowering of AIDS drug prices by pharmaceutical companies to allow for the treatment of more patients with the same amount of money.
More information about the “Keep the Promise” coalition and March can be found at www.keepthepromise2012.org and by following the group on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/keepthepromise2012) and on Twitter @AIDSMarch2012.
To view a complete list of organizations that have signed on to “Keep the Promise” Declaration, please click here.
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About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,756 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.