PRINCETON, N.J. and WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) in collaboration with the National AIDS Fund(NAF) today launched the fourth annual "Light to Unite" campaign in support ofWorld AIDS Day. Light to Unite shines a light on the ongoing HIV/AIDSepidemic in the U.S. and encourages individuals to get involved in thestruggle against the disease through the sharing of knowledge and experiences,and through donations that benefit grassroots HIV/AIDS organizationsthroughout the country.
The Catawba Care Coalition, a community-based HIV testing and counselingcenter in rural South Carolina, is one of the many HIV/AIDS organizationsthroughout the U.S. that is able to help individuals in need, in part becauseof donations from last year's Light to Unite campaign.
"Nearly one in four people with HIV in the U.S. do not know they have it,"said Anita Case, executive director of Catawba Care Coalition. "Because ofLight to Unite, we've been able to significantly increase our outreach to getpeople tested and counseled, link them to care if infected, and when they'renegative, teach them prevention techniques to make sure they stay negative."
"While progress has been made with new treatments and preventionstrategies, we still see 40,000 new HIV infections diagnosed every year in theUnited States. That is 40,000 too many!" said Kandy Ferree, president andCEO, the National AIDS Fund. "Increasingly, those being impacted by HIV/AIDSlive in rural areas, far from information and treatment centers, or live inpoverty, unable to access information. We have to go to them. Collaborations,like ours with Bristol-Myers Squibb, can help to change the course of thisdisease in the United States."
"Through Light to Unite, Bristol-Myers Squibb is encouraging everyone tohelp us shine a light on the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United Statesand make a difference in the lives of people with this disease," said AnthonyHooper, president, U.S. Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. "Ourcollaboration with the National AIDS Fund helps ensure that the communitieshardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic receive critical patient services andsupport."
The focal point of the Light to Unite campaign is the Web site,www.LightToUnite.org, where each individual who participates in the campaigncan "shine a light" by lighting a virtual candle while learning new factsabout HIV/AIDS, sharing stories of personal impact, and giving directly to theNational AIDS Fund.
To commemorate this year's World AIDS Day and Light to Unite, Bristol-Myers Squibb is making a $250,000 contribution to the National AIDS Fund,which will be distributed through grants to help organizations provideimportant services to HIV/AIDS patients, such as treatment, care andprevention programs. One hundred percent of the contribution will bedistributed to grant recipients.
The National AIDS Fund provides grants through a network of more than 400grassroots HIV/AIDS organizations around the country. This approach givesgrassroots HIV/AIDS organizations access to needed funding, to offer supportservices that best meet the needs of their local communities.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health careproducts company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. VisitBristol-Myers Squibb at www.bms.com.
About the National AIDS Fund
The National AIDS Fund's mission is to reduce the incidence and impact ofHIV/AIDS by promoting leadership and generating resources for effectivecommunity responses to the epidemic. Through an expanding network ofCommunity Partnerships, the National AIDS Fund promotes collaborative localplanning and provides strategic grants and technical support to nearly 400direct service organizations annually. Since 1988, together with itsCommunity Partners