FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2013
PFLAG: Liz Owen | email@example.com | (202) 467-8180 ext. 214
SAGE: Michael Adams | (212) 741-2247
NCLR: Kate Kendell | (415) 392-6257
PFLAG NATIONAL TAKES THE PLEDGE, RE-CONFIRMS COMMITMENT TO FIGHT HIV/AIDS
WASHINGTON, D.C.—PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization for families, friends, and straight allies united with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—today joined with SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders), National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), NYC LGBT Community Center, and hundreds of other organizations and individuals, signing on to a letter pledging to re-engage with the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This re-commitment and pledge coincides with National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 63% of the new HIV infections in 2010.
“Our organization was founded in 1973 in New York City, the cradle of the LGBT movement for equality...and where some of the earliest cases in the HIV/AIDS epidemic were reported,” said Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG National. “Our founder, Jeanne Manford and her husband, Dr. Jules Manford, were themselves the parents of a gay son, Morty Manford, who died of AIDS. The history of PFLAG is inextricably tied to the history of HIV/AIDS, as many of our earliest members were parents who were fighting the battle of acceptance and equality for their children, while simultaneously fighting for their children’s lives. Now, 40 years later, we at PFLAG are reaffirming our commitment to working to bring an end to this epidemic."
"The LGBT boomer generation was devastated by the AIDS epidemic. SAGE’s constituents lost more friends and loved ones than we can count" said Michael Adams from SAGE. "Our hope for the next generation is to live in a world without AIDS. We can make this a reality, but it’s going to take all of us. It’s time for the LGBT community to come back to the fight against HIV/AIDS, and SAGE is ready for that fight."
"Our Center has been fighting HIV since the beginning," says Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the New York City LGBT Community Center. "It’s time for us to remain focused and use what we have learned in the intervening years to continue this fight with renewed energy and vigor. This time we can end an epidemic."
The joint pledge, released today, states:
“Over the last 30 years, the LGBT community has seen great strides in the movement for full equality. Much of this success is the result of a concerted movement, which was galvanized in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. In the decades since, our movement has seen incredible victories…Unfortunately, our community hasn't maintained the same momentum in our fight against HIV… Each day, more than 80 gay and bisexual men become infected with HIV in the United States… Despite these alarming statistics, which have galvanized our community in the past, the HIV epidemic has seemed to fall by the way side. Many in our community have simply stopped talking about the issue. This must change.”
To read the letter in its entirety—as well as a list of the hundreds of organizations united in the fight against HIV/AIDS—visit www.wethelgbt.org.
Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies united with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. Now in its 41st year, PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, visit www.pflag.org.