Arriving in Washington D.C. this Saturday July 21st, 500 advocates on six trains—originating from Toledo, Ohio; Newport News, Virginia; Providence, Rhode Island; Miami, Florida; New York, New York and Charlotte, South Carolina—will converge on Union Station for a press conference and welcome reception
Advocates will join thousands expected to gather at Washington Monument the following day 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) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will host a press conference on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm at the Columbus Club at Union Station just as six of its eight AHF-sponsored trains carrying HIV/AIDS advocates from around the country arrive in Washington D.C. The 500 advocates on six trains are coming to D.C. to participate in the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March on Washington the following day, just prior to the opening ceremonies of the XIX International AIDS Conference. Following the press conference, AHF will host a reception at the Columbus Club to welcome the advocates.
In total, nearly eight hundred AHF-sponsored advocates will arrive on eight Amtrak trains throughout Saturday—from New Orleans, Louisiana; Toledo, Ohio; Newport News, Virgina; Providence, Rhode Island; Miami, Florida; New York, New York; Charlotte, South 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: Press conference: 500 Advocates Arrive at Union Station to Participate in “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March on Washington
WHEN: Saturday July 21, 2012 2:45 pm Followed by a Welcome Reception
WHERE: Columbus Club at Union Station 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002
WHO: Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Terri Ford, Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy
HIV/AIDS advocates from across the U.S.
B-ROLL: 500 HIV/AIDS advocates from across the U.S. arriving on four trains branded with “Keep the Promise in HIV/AIDS” March on Washington imagery
CONTACT: Ged Kenslea, AHF Interim Marketing & Communications Director, (323) 791-5526 Brad Luna, Luna Media Group, (202) 812-8140
Note to Media: Members of the media who attend the train station press conference may also obtain their media credentials for Sunday’s “Keep the Promise” March on Washington
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.