Advocates, community leaders, organizations, faith leaders, women and their partners from the Greater Cleveland area joined forces in ‘Keep the Promise on Women’—a day of HIV testing and mobilization held on Thursday, August 22, 2013. The events kicked off with a press conference at the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, followed with free HIV testing, education and awareness events that took place at eight locations throughout the city.
Spearheaded by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland (ATGC), an affiliate of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Keep the Promise on Women honors the memory of Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the late Congresswoman who represented Ohio’s 11th District and whose commitment, compassion and bravery placed her at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention and care during a time when stigma prevented many in the community from being tested.
“Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ leadership left a legacy that continues to inspire,” said Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. “I am proud to stand with community partners who are working to promote early detection and treatment. HIV is preventable and we support adequate funding for prevention programs particularly aimed at women, gay youth and communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by HIV. Congress must reauthorize Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, known simply as the Ryan White Care Act. This important legislation provides funding for medical care and helps to ensure access to treatment for all Americans. It has my vote. We ask you to stand with us on these issues and take the first step to getting tested. Keep the promise to women, those you love and yourself.”
Partners and Partner Organizations in ‘Keep the Promise to Women’ include Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, State Senator Nina Turner, State Rep. Nickie Antonio, City of Cleveland Health Department, Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County, Care Alliance Health Center, The Free Clinic, Call & Post, State of Ohio Department of Health, AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland/AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Recovery Resources.
‘Keep the Promise on Women’ follows four prior ‘Keep the Promise on AIDS’ events led by AHF that were intended to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment: the inaugural ‘Keep the Promise’ March on Washington held in July, 2012, when a coalition of 1,432 organizations from 103 countries came together before the XIX International AIDS Conference to call for more global HIV/AIDS funding. That event was followed by three subsequent regional Keep the Promise marches in Atlanta (November 2012), New York (Brooklyn, April 2013) and Cleveland (may 2013).
‘Keep the Promise’ events bring together local and national advocates along with spiritual and political leaders to remind elected officials that the fight against HIV/AIDS is not yet won.