Hosted by SWAY, musical guests joining Reverend Al Sharpton onstage include DJ Lina, rapper Cassidy, Bridget Kelly, Grammy Award-winning violinist/producer, Miri Ben-Ari and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra whose performances will inspire the crowd before the March begins; Marchers will call for funding and support to fight HIV/AIDS in New York—particularly in light of recent funding cuts to New York public health services which will result in 68,000 fewer HIV tests
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hundreds of advocates and community leaders are expected to participate in the “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” March and Rally on Saturday, April 6th beginning at 12:00 noon in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn, New York. The event—the third in a series calling on officials to commit to stopping AIDS—will be hosted by radio and television personality Sway Calloway and features the Reverend Al Sharpton, one of America's foremost civil rights leaders. Musical guests include DJ Lina, hip hop emcee Cassidy, Grammy Award-Winners Bridget Kelly and Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, a New York City marching band.
WHAT: “Keep the Promise on HIV/AIDS” MARCH & RALLY
WHEN: Saturday, April 6th 2012 @ 12:00 Noon
WHERE: Cadman Plaza Park – at the border of Brooklyn Heights & Downtown Brooklyn
WHO: Reverend Al Sharpton, Civil rights leader
Sway Calloway, MTV News Correspondent & Host of Sway in the Morning (SiriusXM/Shade45)
Cassidy, Hip Hop emcee whose recent song & video “Condom Style” promoting safer sex went viral garnishing over 2 million organic digital views to date
Bridget Kelly, Grammy Award-winning musical artist
Miri Ben-Ari, Grammy Award-winning violinist
Rude Mechanical Orchestra, New York City marching band
Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa, Interim Executive Director, Gay Men of African Descent
Elder Stacey Latimer, Founder, Love Alive International Group
Sam Rivera, Executive Vice President/COO, Exponents
Other distinguished guests:
Velmanette Montgomery (D), 25th District, New York State Senate
Stephen Levin, New York City Council Member, Brooklyn, 33rd District
Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D), New York City Council Member, Bronx, 17th District
B-ROLL: Marchers wearing “Keep the Promise” t-shirts, carrying signs, banners and flags with the “Keep the Promise on AIDS” messaging
AHF's 72 foot Condom Nation big rig
FOR MEDIA CREDENTIALING, PLEASE CALL:
Ged Kenslea, AHF's Senior Director, Communications, (323) 791-5526 mobile
Michael Camacho, NYC Regional Director, AHF, (646) 265-7460 mobile
Created by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) the “Keep the Promise” campaign brings 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. Additional supporters of the New York “Keep the Promise” rally and march include LifeBeat and the Brooklyn Borough President's Office.
Advocates from regions across the Northeast—including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island—will be traveling by bus to NYC to support the “Keep the Promise” goals and join in the rally and march.
In the earliest days of the epidemic, New York was one of the cities at the epicenter of the disease, where one of the world's first HIV/AIDS service organizations was born in 1981, the Gay Men's Health Crisis (according to CNN's Timeline: AIDS Moments to Remember). Today, effective medications have made HIV/AIDS largely a manageable disease and national commitment to fight the HIV/AIDS in the U.S. – and funding – has diminished. In fact, a recent $2,726,000 funding cut to New York's health departments as a result of sequestration will mean 68,000 fewer HIV tests (according to the Legislative Gazette's How will sequester affect New York?). This at a time when more and more people are receiving late HIV diagnoses, which results in poorer health outcomes and increased transmission. According to an article published by UPI.com on March 8, 2013, 30% of New York women are getting a “late” HIV diagnosis.
“It is important to send the message that this country's struggle against AIDS isn't over – especially in New York, where not only is there a high concentration of HIV, but where funding cuts continue to negatively impact the city's ability to battle the epidemic,” said Michael Camacho, New York City Regional Director for AHF and the lead organizer for the New York march. “We need to follow through on our commitment to providing access to prevention and treatment to everyone, everywhere.”
Organizations that have signed on in support of the “Keep the Promise” march include: After Hours Project, Metropolitan Community Church-NY, Positive Women's Network, Iris House, Exponents, HEAT Program at SUNY Downstate, Village Cares, AIDS Service Center (ASC), Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), Commission on the Public Health System (CPHS) and Brooklyn Pride.
Also in attendance at the March will be AHF's Condom Nation, a safer sex initiative that aims to distribute 50 million free condoms this year in the U.S. through a national tour of a 72-foot custom-wrapped “Condom Nation”-themed big rig. Several mobile HIV testing vans will also be on hand to offer free HIV testing to the public.
More information about the “Keep the Promise” effort can be found at www.keepthepromiseonAIDS.org and by following the group on Facebook and on Twitter @KTPonAIDS
Senior Director, Communications
Cell: (323) 791-5526
Michael Camacho, MPH
NYC Regional Director
Mobile: (646) 265-7460
Lori Yeghiayan Friedman
Assoc. Director of Communications
Mobile: (323) 377-4312