A New Journey Begins In the Fight Against HIV/AIDS

By Rob Banaszak on February 10, 2011 in President's Message

by Mark Ishaug, President and CEO
AIDS United

Dear Friends:

I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead AIDS United, and I am so looking forward to working closely with you and all of our partners and stakeholders to bring an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America.

What an exciting and challenging time to begin this journey. The creation of AIDS United through the merger of the National AIDS Fund and AIDS Action has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to add velocity and impact to the important work that we, as organizations and as individuals, have been doing for nearly three decades. And I promise you I’ll do whatever it takes to raise money and awareness to improve the lives of people living with HIV and help bring an end to this pandemic. I’ll sing, dance, and golf. I’ll take to the Hill and I’ll take to the Plains. And I’ll complete this year alone a 100-mile bike ride, a triathlon and marathon.

And speaking of marathons…

Last week we launched Team to End AIDS (T2)! T2 is a new endurance training and fundraising program for all levels of athletes that includes marathon and half marathon coaching. T2 will support the life-saving work of AIDS United and the Washington AIDS Partnership by helping to raise funds to support programs and services that change lives in the District of Columbia and around the country. We developed T2 at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago in 2009 and achieved INCREDIBLE success in the program’s first year. We have every expectation of great success in DC, too, especially with DC’s active running and HIV/AIDS communities! You can read more about T2 in this newsletter, , or by clicking here, and you can REGISTER for T2 today at www.T2EA.com.

But that’s not the only important announcement that we have recently made.  AIDS United just announced the 10 new grantees of our game-changing Access to Care (A2C) initiative, supported by a grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). These grants will help build the capacity to develop and implement targeted, innovative programs to improve individual health outcomes and strengthen local service systems, and connect thousands of low-income and marginalized individuals living with HIV to high quality supportive services and health care. A2C also is helping to contribute to the successful implementation of the “Increasing Access to Care” pillar of National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) released in July by the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP).

In addition to these life-changing and life-saving programs, AIDS United will continue its critical strategic grantmaking and public policy work!  With partners throughout the country, we are developing our regional advocacy networks to help mobilize our communities at the state and local levels about HIV/AIDS policy that impacts the lives of those we serve.  We’ll be taking on issues like health care reform, appropriations of HIV funding, and syringe access head on, while we make investments in communities most affected by HIV/AIDS, including the South, communities of color, women and girls, men who have sex with men (MSM) and youth.

I am truly excited to bring my experiences and relationships to AIDS United as we reinvigorate the fight against HIV/AIDS as we have never done before. Won’t you join us as our partners on this important journey?  You can support AIDS United by making  a donation today!  Together, we will work tirelessly for our mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America.

Yours,

Mark Ishaug
President/CEO
AIDS United

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