More than 1,000 Treatment Advocates Trained Through Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN) Since 2010 Launch
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Black AIDS Institute (The Institute), with support from Merck, announced Washington, D.C., as the 13th city in the Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN). The only collaboration of its kind, BTAN has unified Black HIV/AIDS advocacy efforts under an umbrella initiative focused on reducing disparities and improving care for the Black American HIV community in the U.S. The Institute and Merck launched BTAN in 2010. Since then, more than 1,000 Black treatment advocates have been trained through the BTAN program and mobilized to provide support in 12 cities across the United States with a high burden of HIV.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans accounted for 14 percent of the U.S. population in 2010. Moreover, an estimated 1 in 16 Black men and 1 in 32 Black women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with HIV infection at some point in their lifetime. In 2011, Washington, D.C., ranked fifth among major U.S. metropolitan cities in new HIV diagnoses.
"The strides BTAN has made in arming Black communities with the necessary resources to increase their understanding of HIV is tremendous,” said Phill Wilson, president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. “The Institute is pleased to continue our commitment to BTAN. With partners like Merck and the Community Education Group, our local community partner in Washington, D.C., we can expand our network of treatment advocates to help make a difference within the Black HIV community in the areas of greatest need.”
“BTAN has had a profound impact in areas where the prevalence of HIV is especially high in the Black community,” said Chirfi Guindo, vice president and general manager, HIV Franchise, Merck. “For nearly 30 years, Merck has had a long-standing commitment to helping improve access to HIV/AIDS care and treatment in the U.S. We are proud to support BTAN and partner with the Black AIDS Institute to expand the reach of this important initiative.”
To engage the local community, The Institute has selected the Community Education Group (CEG) as the community partner for the Washington, D.C., BTAN chapter. CEG has a long-standing history of initiatives focused on addressing the risks and challenges related to HIV faced by the Black community.
“We are honored that the Black AIDS Institute has selected CEG to be the BTAN community partner in Washington, D.C.," said A. Toni Young, executive director, CEG. "CEG focuses on helping decrease the spread of HIV by training and educating community health workers. Through this initiative, we are excited to expand our work to ensure more African Americans are engaged and sustained in treatment. This work will increase the HIV treatment health literacy of CEG and the Black people in our city we serve.”
BTAN is dedicated to providing treatment advocates with resources that link Black Americans with HIV to care and treatment, strengthening local and national leadership, raising HIV science and treatment literacy in Black communities, and advocating for policy change and research priorities. Through BTAN, advocates receive information via regular, national web-based trainings, regional programs around the U.S., and the BTAN website. Since launching in 2010, local BTAN chapters have been established in 13 cities: Atlanta; Baton Rouge, La.; Chicago; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Jackson; Miss.; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; Oakland, Calif.; Philadelphia; San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
For more information about joining BTAN or participating in trainings, visit http://www.blackaids.org/btan-home/national or call 213-353-3610 ext. 120.
About the Black AIDS Institute
Founded in 1999, The Black AIDS Institute (The Institute), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is the only national HIV/AIDS Think Tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute’s mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing traditional Black leaders, institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV/AIDS. The Institute offers training and capacity building, disseminates information, interprets and recommends private and public sector HIV policies, and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.
Merck’s Commitment to HIV
For close to 30 years, Merck has been at the forefront of the response to the HIV epidemic and we have made a difference through our proud legacy of commitment to innovation, collaborating with community and expanding global access to medicines. Merck is dedicated to applying our scientific expertise, resources and global reach to deliver healthcare solutions that support people living with HIV worldwide.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Merck Forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
Pamela Eisele, 908-423-5042
Doris Li, 908-423-6451
Black AIDS Institute:
Raniyah Copeland, 213-353-3610 ext. 119