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 wecan count on your continued support which will help us maintain our many HIV/AIDS programs. We still desperately need your helpto keep our doors open and continue to provide our many essential services to the Baltimore HIV/AIDS community. We hope you willremember us and continue your loyal support. Please help us in any way you can. Your donations will enable us to continue ourmarvelous record of benevolence and compassion with only a rate of 2.9% overhead in 2017. The amount of work we accomplish andthe 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 why 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 inadult/adolescent HIV diagnosis rates (per 100,000) in 2017. At year-end 2016, CDC estimates that 991,447 persons in the UnitedStates were living with diagnosed HIV infection. It is estimated that 11.6% of those people living with HIV in Maryland in 2016 were undiagnosed.
AAB has been instrumental again this year in the effort to reduce HIV infections in Baltimore. We are currently administering three HIVprevention programs, one for transgender women and two for gay men. All our prevention programs provide HIV prevention education.Our PrEP UP program promotes PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) use in gay men and transgender women. PrEP is a one pill once aday prevention regimen that has proven to be 90% effective in reducing HIV transmission risk. So far, our PrEP outreach, education,and testing efforts have been extremely successful. We also recently initiated a new HIV prevention program for black gay men calledNew Horizons. The CDC tells us that black gay men have a 1 in 2 chance of becoming HIV infected in their lifetimes. Our new programseeks to educate black gay men about this exorbitant risk and to help them build networks of support to combat the many obstacles theyencounter which contribute to their risk of becoming HIV infected. We are very excited about these new programs and look forward to greatresults and even more community partnerships in 2019, including a new collaboration with FreeState Justice. We worked successfullywith FreeState Justice taking the lead to help pass new legislation to allow minors to obtain HIV prevention drug access withoutobtaining parental consent.
We have also taken a leadership role in promoting PrEP for HIV prevention and testing in gay men and transgender people with theinitiation of our new PrEP UP and New Horizons programs. We are also educating people about 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 stayon their PrEP and HIV medications. We are very excited about these new monthly support and education programs which will eventuallyhelp to decrease the number of people who become HIV infected and who are able to sexually transmit HIV.
AAB still provides financial assistance to many needy people with HIV/AIDS. AAB has provided this support to over 8,300 people since1987 and $3,005,000 in assistance for items such as rent and utilities, and direct programs to people with HIV/AIDS and their familiesin our community . We firmly believe we must continue our invaluable financial assistance program which provides a safety net to peoplewith HIV/AIDS experiencing an emergency financial crisis.
Although the Trump Administration has touted an End AIDS initiative, he proposed a cut in other HIV spending while the rate of HIV cases inBaltimore is still raging. Because we never know what new budget cuts we will experience from the Trump Administration, we needyour help more than ever so that we can continue the fight to save our community from the devastation of HIV disease. AAB has workedagain this year to advocate for federal budget increases to NIH research funding and continued funding for the Ryan White Care Actfor the care and support of people with HIV. HIV policy gets more complicated all the time, and it is much harder every year for us toobtain the money we need to fight the epidemic. We are working very closely with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) on their EndAIDS Initiative. We are having a Town Hall in conjunction with the BCHD on May 29, 2019 to discuss community strategies to end HIVtransmission in Baltimore.
Our work affects all who are touched by HIV/AIDS. Eventually many people with HIV/AIDS will need new drug cocktails when theirold 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 tolerateddrugs 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 industryand 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 DelaneyCure Research Collaboratories (DARE) and amfAR CABs. AAB is also working with DARE researchers to bring additional resourcesto Baltimore for local cure research projects. We held three HIV Cure Research Forums in 2018, and will hold three more in 2019.
AAB has been instrumental in the formation of the Drug Development Committee of the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition, a nationalorganization that interacts with the pharmaceutical industry, pressuring companies to study drugs expeditiously and ethically and toinclude the HIV affected community in all aspects of research and development. AAB is also a leading member of the national Fair PricingCoalition (FPC), pressuring“big pharma” to price HIV and HCV drugs reasonably, limit price increases, cap ongoing drug prices forgovernment programs like AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and to initiate co-pay programs for patients with private insurance. We haveconvinced every HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) drug company to create programs that will cover all the outrageously expensive co-paysand other out of pocket (OOP) costs for people with private insurance. Our work directly affects Marylanders with ever increasing OOPprescription costs. We are also working very hard to ensure that people in Maryland and across the country who cannot afford theirmedications get their drugs for free from “big pharma” through Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). Our work is way ahead of thecurve. This type of advocacy does not happen in any other disease community. These OOP co-pay programs are now in danger ofbeing discontinued by insurance providers. AAB is working in collaboration with numerous national organizations and the insuranceindustry 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 onSeptember 16, 2018, at the home of Dr. Neal Naff and Nate Hubler which raised over $48,000. For more information on our events andthe latest in HIV treatment and research as well as PrEP for HIV prevention or financial assistance and prescription drug accessprogram information, please check out our web site at www.aidsactionbaltimore.org and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/prep.up.7and https://www.facebook.com/newhorizonsbmore/.
Please help us to continue our emergency financial assistance programs and our vital local and national research and treatmentadvocacy. We greatly appreciate your continued support in these tough economic times. Thank you in advance for your contributionand for your past generosity. We know you are called on to make many charitable donations. We very much appreciate your continuedconfidence 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!
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.