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Mayor Kasim Reed Commemorates World AIDS Day

Post Date:12/01/2010

Mayor Reed & the City of Atlanta partner with (RED)™ to turn City Hall and other Atlanta landmarks RED for World AIDS Day; Mayor Reed holds candlelight vigil


ATLANTA
– Today, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the City of Atlanta held a candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall to commemorate World AIDS Day and raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

“World AIDS Day serves as a sobering reminder that we must all continue to work together to bring an end to the AIDS epidemic,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This day is also a time where we remember those who have passed away. We must continually strive to make further advances in HIV/AIDS research and I am pleased to be joined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, AID Atlanta and many of the City’s civic and community partners in this effort.”

In observance of World AIDS Day, Mayor Reed partnered with (RED)™ to illuminate City Hall and four other iconic landmarks throughout the City red – Georgia World Congress Center’s International Plaza Towers, The Georgia Dome, Centennial Olympic Park, and the World of Coca-Cola.

Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta’s “World AIDS Day” event sheds light on the importance of working together and showing Atlanta’s support in the fight to eliminate HIV and AIDS.

“Atlanta is one of more than 30 cities in the United States that will light their most distinctive landmarks in red, joining New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Seattle and others,” said Stephanie Brag, Public Relations Manager at (RED)™. “The lightings will highlight the attainable goal of ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015 and creating the first generation of babies born HIV-free in 30 years.”

Mayor Reed was joined by several speakers, including Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, who presented a proclamation in support of World AIDS Day to the CDC and AID Atlanta; Rashad Burgess, Capacity Building Branch Chief with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Tracy L. Elliott, Executive Director of AID Atlanta.

There are 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in United States, and more than 20 percent of them are not even aware they are infected. Georgia has the eighth highest rate of infection in the country, with a total of over 31,557 AIDS cases reported in 2006. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was on hand to offer statistics and to raise awareness of the commitment of the global health community.

AID Atlanta, the largest AIDS service organizations in the state of Georgia, and one of the largest in the country, joined Mayor Reed in sharing with residents the myriad of HIV/AIDS services available to them in Atlanta.

“We at AID Atlanta applaud and thank Mayor Reed for underscoring the importance of World AIDS Day,” said Tracy L. Elliott, Executive Director of AID Atlanta. “We cannot ignore what is happening right here in Atlanta: the AIDS epidemic is not only not over, it is worsening. We must reignite our passion and dedication to reducing new infections and caring for those who are infected and affected.”

In addition to the landmark lightings, (RED) partner Starbucks and local cupcake boutique Cocktail Cupcakes made special refreshment contributions. Starbucks provided (STARBUCKS)RED East Africa Blend coffee for our guests. For every 1 lb bag of (STARBUCKS)RED East Africa Blend sold in the United States and Canada, Starbucks will contribute $1 (U.S.) to the Global Fund to help people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Entrepreneur and founder of Cocktail Cupcakes, Brittany Wyatt, provided red velvet cupcakes for the event.

Earlier in the day, the National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities (NAESM) administered confidential and anonymous on-site testing for the community at City Hall from 9:30am to 1pm. The testing and counseling sessions were held in private rooms in City Hall using OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV -1/2 Antibody Test. Counselors were on-site to provide results within 20 minutes of testing.

Detection is the first step to prevention, and Mayor Reed and the City of Atlanta, along with all of its partners are committed to raising HIV awareness to the community.



About (RED)™and (PRODUCT) RED™
(RED)’s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT) RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to help finance HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, including interventions targeting women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, FLOWE(RED) (U.K. only), Hallmark (U.S. only), Dell, Nike, Penguin Classics and Starbucks. Since its launch in the Spring of 2006, $160 million has been generated by (RED) partners and events for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia and supports programs that have reached more than 5 million people. For more information, visit www.joinred.com.


About The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts dealing with the three diseases.

About AID Atlanta
AID Atlanta, Inc. has been saving and transforming lives since its inception in 1982. The agency was founded as a “grass-roots” response to the devastating and fatal impact HIV/AIDS was having on the Atlanta community. AID Atlanta quickly began expanding to offer a broad range of services and has since grown to be the Southeast’s largest, most comprehensive AIDS Service Organization. The mission of AID Atlanta is to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of its members and the community by breaking barriers and building community. To this end, AID Atlanta has proven itself the leader in the fight against the AIDS epidemic in Atlanta. For more information, please go to:



About CDC
For over 60 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability. CDC is committed to programs that reduce the health and economic consequences of the leading causes of death and disability, thereby ensuring a long, productive, healthy life for all people. For more information, please go to:



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