Media Advisory: Faith Community and Congress Celebrate Mother’s Day and the Success of PEPFAR

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Two events will honor the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)’s lifesaving achievements and highlight the role of faith-based organizations in the fight to create an AIDS-free generation.

WHO:            

  •     Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
  •     Ambassador Dr. Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative, Office of Global Health Diplomacy
  •     Craig McClure, Chief of HIV/AIDS Program Division, UNICEF
  •     Martha Cameron-Sichone, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Ambassador and mother living with HIV
  •     Rev. Samuel Nixon, Jr., Pan-African Christian AIDS Network
  •     Adam Russell Taylor, Vice President, Advocacy, World Vision
  •     Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society, United Methodist Church
  •     Debbie Dortzbach, Senior Health Advisor, World Relief
  •     Moderated by Anita Smith, Executive Director, Children’s AIDS Fund

WHAT: Press event in honor of Mother’s Day, where members of the faith community, U.S. legislators, and PEPFAR leadership will celebrate 10 years of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and learn about the faith community’s commitment to the Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive. The press event will be followed by a Mother’s Day celebration and worship service.    

WHEN:    Tuesday, May 14, 2013. 2:30-4:00 p.m. (Capitol Hill)    
        Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Shiloh Baptist Church, Washington, DC)

WHERE:     Hart Senate Office Building, Room SH-902, Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street NE, Washington, D.C.
        Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 Ninth Street NW, Washington, D.C.

WHY: Ten Years of Progress
Ten years ago, the situation was bleak. AIDS had orphaned 14 million children around the world. As parents fell victim to the disease, child-headed households in sub-Saharan Africa became increasingly common. Responding to the challenge in his 2003 State of the Union address, Pres. George W. Bush announced a $15 billion program for AIDS control, treatment, care and prevention, calling it a “work of mercy beyond all international efforts to help the people of Africa”. Faith-based organizations, along with other non-governmental organizations, received financial support to implement this historic initiative.

Ten years later, the results are dramatic. As of September 30, 2012, the United States has directly supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for nearly 5.1 million men, women and children worldwide. In 2012 alone, PEPFAR supported antiretroviral (ARV) drug prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV for 750,000 women, allowing approximately 230,000 infants to be born HIV-free. In addition, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 11 million pregnant women in 2012.

We can end new HIV infections among children by 2015, and we can ensure that women living with HIV stay healthy through pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. But to achieve an AIDS-free generation, we must strive for a world where no baby is born with HIV and no mothers are dying of AIDS-related illnesses. The faith community is committed to the Global Plan to prevent new infections, and hopes you will join us to hear more about our vision for a world with no babies with HIV and healthy mothers.

RSVP: Journalists should RSVP by May 13 to Kathy Erb, Christian Connections for International Health at kathy.erb(at)ccih(dot)org.

NOTE: The evening worship service will feature the Shiloh Baptist Church Senior Choir and Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, pastor of Kalafong AME Mission in Baltimore, MD. The service will be moderated by Rev. Samuel Nixon, Jr. of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA.

To RSVP, contact Rev. Samuel Nixon at snixonj(at)aol(dot)com. Include your name, title, email, and phone contact and organization by May 12. Parking is available at the "P Street" entrance. Contact the church at 202-232-4288 for parking information and directions.

Sponsored by:
Adventist Development and Relief Agency
Christian Connections for International Health
Catholic Medical Mission Board
Children AIDS Fund
General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
Medical Teams International
Pan African Christian AIDS Network
World Relief
World Vision
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
UNAIDS
UNICEF

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