AIDS Action Baltimore forces Moderna and Pfizer to include people in their COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Advocacy Letter to Moderna

COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Advocacy Letter to Pfizer

amFAR Article

Bloomberg Article

POZ Article

Science Magazine Article

(410) 837-2437, FAX (410) 837-2438
BaltoAIDS@aol.com  http://aidsactionbaltimore.org

May 2020

Dear Friends:

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 33rd 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 3.6% overhead in 2018. 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 2018, Maryland was ranked 6th among U.S. states and territories inadult/adolescent HIV diagnosis rates (per 100,000) in 2018, tied with Mississippi. At year-end 2017, CDC estimates that 1,003,782persons in the United States were living with diagnosed HIV infection. At the end of 2018, there were 31,559 people aged 13+ livingwith diagnosed HIV infection. It is estimated that 11.6% of people living with HIV in Maryland in 2017 were undiagnosed.

AAB has been instrumental again this year in the effort to reduce HIV infections in Baltimore. We currently administer two HIVprevention programs, one for transgender women and one for gay men. All our prevention programs provide outreach, preventioneducation, testing assistance, healthcare linkages and adherence support. Our PrEP UP program promotes PrEP (pre-exposureprophylaxis) use in interested gay men and transgender women. PrEP is a one pill once a day prevention regimen that has proven tobe 99% effective in reducing HIV transmission risk. So far, our PrEP efforts have been extremely successful. New Horizons, our stigmareducing, empowerment prevention program for black gay men has also been very effective. The CDC tells us that black gay men havea 1 in 2 chance of becoming HIV infected in their lifetimes. Our new program seeks to educate black gay men about this exorbitant riskand to help them build networks of support to combat the many social obstacles they encounter which contribute to their risk of becomingHIV infected. We are very excited about these new programs which have had excellent HIV prevention and treatment adherenceresults. We have developed even more community partnerships, including a collaboration with FreeState Justice. We recently workedsuccessfully with FreeState Justice taking the lead to help pass new legislation to allow minors to obtain HIV prevention drug accesswithout obtaining parental consent, and conducting outreach to trans women.

We have recently begun educating people about Treatment as Prevention (TasP), known as U = U (undetectable HIV = untransmittableHIV) 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 andHIV medications. We are very excited about our very successful bi- monthly support and education programs which have helped todecrease the number of people who become HIV infected and positive people who are unable to sexually transmit HIV because theirvirus is undetectable and thus untransmittable (U=U).
AAB still provides financial assistance to many needy people with HIV/AIDS. AAB has provided this support to over 8,500 people since1987 and $3,058,000 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 promised but not yet distributed funding to End the HIV Epidemic, he has proposed a cut in other HIVspending while the rate of HIV cases in Baltimore is still raging. Because we never know what new budget cuts we will experience fromthe Trump Administration, we need your help more than ever so that we can continue the fight to save our community from thedevastation of HIV disease. AAB successfully advocated for increased NIH research funding this year and will continue to advocate forbudget increases to NIH research funding and continued funding for the Ryan White Care Act for the care and support of people withHIV. HIV policy gets more complicated every year, and it is much harder every year for us to obtain the money we need to fight theepidemic. We are working very closely with the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) on their End the HIV Epidemic Initiative. Wehad two Town Halls in conjunction with the BCHD in 2019, to discuss community strategies to end HIV transmission in Baltimore, onefeaturing the Director of the NIH Office of AIDS (OAR) Research Dr. Maureen Goodenow in 2019, to provide input on federal researchpriorities. Innovative events like this do not happen without AIDS Action 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 careby 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 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 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 2019 Tea at Cedarcroft event raised over $48,000. We will hopefully be having our 2020 Tea Dance on September 20, at the Clifton Mansion, the restored Italian style mansion which was the residence of Johns Hopkins . For more information on our events and the latest in HIV treatment and researchas well as PrEP for HIV prevention or financial assistance and prescription drug access program information, please see our web siteat 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 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! We hope you and yours remain safe and well.

Sincerely, Lynda Dee & the AAB Board
Merle McCann, M.D., Chair
Michael Aquino
Kenny Eggerl
Thomas Holden
Mark McMullen
Jake Boone, III
Cameron Wolf, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Our current financial statement is available upon request by contacting AIDS Action Baltimore at 14 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.

COVID-19 and People Living with HIV

Frequently Asked Questions

Link to English FAQ: http://www.HIV-covid.org/

Link to Spanish FAQ: http://www.VIH-covid.org/