We are happy to announce that we raised over $40,000 at our 2019 T3 Cedarcroft event! The generous donations of our hosts, Neal Naff, MD and Nate Hubler as well as our loyal contributors will allow us to continue our important HIV prevention programs, drug research and treatment access advocacy, and to provide valuable financial, educational and emotional support to people with HIV infection.
The generous financial donations of our supporters and the time and effort of our loyal volunteers has made a real difference for us. I can’t tell you how much it means to us to receive your continued support. We work so hard. It means the world to us to know that people know that we are in the trenches and doing our best to continue the fight against AIDS.
On behalf of the AAB Board and volunteers, thank you all of you who attended our event as well as those of you who helped to make it a success again this year. We hope you all had a wonderful time. Please know that your assistance makes a real difference in the fight against AIDS and the ability to keep our doors open. Without people like you, there would be no AIDS Action Baltimore.
Lynda Dee, Neal Naff, MD, Nate Hubler and the Cedarcroft Committee:
Mike Aquino, Jeffrey Grabelle, Mark McMullen, Kenny Eggerl, Jake Boone, Chris Wulin, Merle Mc Cann, MD and Jared Christopher, RN, Rick Bennett, MD and Carla Alexander, MD
AIDS Action Baltimore (AAB) has been providing essential services to people with HIV/AIDS since 1987. Thanks to your generosity,
we’re still standing. We know only too well that times are still tough, but as we commemorate our 32nd year of service, we hope we can count on your continued support which will help us maintain our many HIV/AIDS programs. We still desperately need your help to keep our doors open and continue to provide our many essential services to the Baltimore HIV/AIDS community. We hope you will remember us and continue your loyal support. Please help us in any way you can. Your donations will enable us to continue our marvelous record of benevolence and compassion with only a rate of 3.6% overhead in 2018. The amount of work we accomplish and
the effect we have had on the war against HIV with only four full-time and one part-time employees is truly amazing!
Although HIV disease is becoming a chronic manageable disease, here is w hy we still need your help now more than ever:
In the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data reported in 2017, Maryland was ranked 5th among U.S. states and territories in
adult/adolescent HIV diagnosis rates (per 100,000) in 2017. At year-end 2016, CDC estimates that 991,447 persons in the United States were living with diagnosed HIV infection. It is estimated that 11.3% of those people living with HIV in Maryland in 2017 were
AAB has been instrumental again this year in the effort to reduce HIV infections in Baltimore. We currently administer three HIV
prevention programs, one for transgender women and two for gay men. All our prevention programs provide outreach, prevention education, testing assistance, healthcare linkages and adherence support. Our PrEP UP program promotes PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) use in interested gay men and transgender women. PrEP is a one pill once a day prevention regimen that has proven to be 99% effective in reducing HIV transmission risk. So far, our PrEP efforts have been extremely successful. New Horizons, our stigma reducing, empowerment prevention program for black gay men has also been very effective. The CDC tells us that black gay men have
a 1 in 2 chance of becoming HIV infected in their lifetimes. Our new program seeks to educate black gay men about this exorbitant risk
and to help them build networks of support to combat the many social obstacles they encounter which contribute to their risk of becoming
HIV infected. We are very excited about these new programs which have had excellent HIV prevention and treatment adherence
results. We have developed even more community partnerships, including a new collaboration with FreeState Justice. We recently
worked successfully with FreeState Justice taking the lead to help pass new legislation to allow minors to obtain HIV prevention drug
access without obtaining parental consent.
We have recently begun educating people about Treatment as Prevention (TasP), known as U = U (undetectable HIV = untransmittable HIV) as well as the latest in HIV treatment. We will continue to link people to care providers and help them to stay on their PrEP and HIV medications. We are very excited about our very successful monthly support and education programs which have helped to decrease the number of people who become HIV infected and positive people who are able to sexually transmit HIV because their virus is undetectable and thus untransmittable.
AAB still provides financial assistance to many needy people with HIV/AIDS. AAB has provided this support to over 8,400 people since 1987 and $3,045,000 in assistance for items such as rent and utilities, and direct programs to people with HIV/AIDS and their families in our community. We firmly believe we must continue our invaluable financial assistance program which provides a safety net to people
with HIV/AIDS experiencing an emergency financial crisis.
Although the Trump Administration has promised but not yet distributed funding to End the HIV Epidemic, he has proposed a cut in other HIV
spending while the rate of HIV cases in Baltimore is still raging. Because we never know what new budget cuts we will experience from
the Trump Administration, we need your help more than ever so that we can continue the fight to save our community from the devastation of HIV disease. AAB successfully advocated for increased NIH research funding this year and will continue to advocate for budget increases to NIH research funding and continued funding for the Ryan White Care Act for the care and support of people with HIV. HIV policy gets more complicated every year, and it is much harder every year for us to obtain the money we need to fight the epidemic. We are working very closely with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) on their End the HIV Epidemic Initiative. We
have had two Town Halls in conjunction with the BCHD on May 29, and September 25, 2019, to discuss community strategies to end HIV
transmission in Baltimore, and a Town Hall with Sisters Together and Reaching (STAR), featuring the Director of the NIH Office of AIDS
(OAR) Research Dr. Maureen Goodenow on October 30, 2019, to provide input on federal research priorities.
Our work affects all who are touched by HIV/AIDS. Eventually many people with HIV/AIDS will need new drug cocktails when their old drugs are no longer working or because they are causing life-threatening side effects. AAB continues to work on many government and industry Community Advisory Boards (CABs). We are working with industry to continually change the standard of care by ensuring that their new drug pipelines remain robust, and by replacing more older toxic drugs with more effective, better tolerated drugs and exciting new long acting drugs that will not require daily dosing.
We are very excited that scientists have begun to work on HIV “cure related”research. AAB is working with government and industry
and the national HIV community to make a “cure” for HIV or what we are now calling “HIV remission” or “durable HIV suppression” a reality. Even though this will take years to come to fruition, we have to start somewhere. AAB is a member of the Martin Delaney Cure Research Collaboratories (DARE) and amfAR CABs. AAB is also working with DARE researchers to bring additional resources to Baltimore for local cure research projects. We held three HIV Cure Research Forums in 2019, and will hold three more in 2020.
AAB has been instrumental in the formation of the Drug Development Committee of the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition, a national
organization that interacts with the pharmaceutical industry, pressuring companies to study drugs expeditiously and ethically and to
include the HIV affected community in all aspects of research and development. AAB is also a leading member of the national Fair Pricing
Coalition (FPC), pressuring“big pharma” to price HIV and HCV drugs reasonably, limit price increases, cap ongoing drug prices for
government programs like AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and to initiate co-pay programs for patients with private insurance. We have
convinced every HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) drug company to create programs that will cover all the outrageously expensive co-pays
and other out of pocket (OOP) costs for people with private insurance. Our work directly affects Marylanders with ever increasing OOP prescription costs. We are also working very hard to ensure that people in Maryland and across the country who cannot afford their medications get their drugs for free from “big pharma” through Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). Our work is way ahead of the curve. This type of advocacy does not happen in any other disease community. These OOP co-pay programs are now in danger of being discontinued by insurance providers. AAB is working in collaboration with numerous national organizations and the insurance
industry to preserve co-pay programs.
We are still doing our best to help ourselves. Thanks to the many of you who attended our fabulous Tea at Cedarcroft event on
September 22, 2019, at the home of Dr. Neal Naff and Nate Hubler which raised over $48,000. We will be having our 2020 Tea Dance
at a new surprise location. For more information on our events and the latest in HIV treatment and research as well as PrEP for HIV
prevention or financial assistance and prescription drug access program information, please check out our web site at www.aidsactionbaltimore.org and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/prep.up.7 and https://www.facebook.com/newhorizonsbmore/.
Please help us to continue our emergency financial assistance programs and our vital local and national research and treatment advocacy. We greatly appreciate your continued support in these tough economic times. Thank you in advance for your contribution and for your past generosity. We know you are called on to make many charitable donations. We very much appreciate your continued confidence in our work. Your donation will help us to save lives. We are forever grateful for your trust and loyal support. Remember, now more than ever, without people like you, there would be no AIDS Action Baltimore! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Sincerely, Lynda Dee & the AAB Board
Merle McCann, M.D., Chair
Jake Boone, III
Cameron Wolf, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Our current financial statement is available upon request by contacting AIDS Action Baltimore at 10 East Eager Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 or (410)837-2437. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401 for the cost of copying and postage.