In response to the senseless killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson, MO,
police and the subsequent use of high-tech military weaponry to disperse
peaceful protestors, AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world's largest AIDS organization,
is issuing a statement of solidarity with those seeking justice for
With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of
the Civil Rights Act, AHF recognizes that the problems of institutional
racism around issues of health disparities and public safety within
African-American communities are inextricably linked in the fight for
civil rights. AHF continues to work tirelessly to address these issues
at the root by providing access to care for all while supporting
grassroots efforts of activists and faith-based leaders in the
African-American community nationwide.
"The segregation now visible to the world in Ferguson is the same
segregation we sadly see in HIV-African-Americans communities are
disproportionally affected by HIV, struggle with affordable access to
quality care, and are relentlessly ignored by a system that frankly
treats their lives as less valuable," said Michael Weinstein,
President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Last year, AHF launched the AIDS
is A Civil Rights Issue campaign and Keep
The Promise Marches, featuring numerous town hall discussions with
keynote speaker Reverend
Al Sharpton, Former NAACP Chairman Julian
Bond, community politicians, activists, leaders, and concerned
residents intended to shed light on the racial disparity in HIV/AIDS.
Currently African Americans account for 44% of all people with HIV/AIDS
in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the population.
"If we are going to confront AIDS as a civil rights issue, then the
discussion must also address and include the basic struggles for
civilian safety fought everyday by those of all ages and genders within
the African-American community," said Samantha Granberry, AHF
Senior Director of National Marketing & Sales. "What's happening in
Ferguson right now is just one example of a rampant problem of
institutional racism that is bad for the nation's health. Devaluing
lives is a major obstacle to health promotion, but when one joins
together to become many in the call for civil rights, change can come."
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more
than 322,000 individuals in 34 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.
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