OAKLAND (August 26, 2014) – Last month, the Oakland-based community service organization Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases (WORLD) announced that it would be uniting with global public health organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in order to expand the Oakland nonprofit’s capacity to provide lifesaving service to women, girls, families and communities affected by HIV in the Greater Bay Area. This week, the unified groups will be introducing the stronger support network generated by that partnership to Oakland through an Affiliation Celebration held on Thursday, August 28.
The WORLD/AHF Affiliation Celebration, which the groups are hosting together at the African-American Museum and Library at Oakland (659 14th Street in Oakland), will take place from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Leaders from both groups will address attendees at the event to illuminate the benefits to both organizations and to the Oakland community that will be fostered through the unification. Speakers will include the heads of both organizations – AHF President Michael Weinstein and WORLD Executive Director Cynthia Carey-Grant – as well as AHF Bay Area Regional Director Dale R. Gluth, Former WORLD Board of Directors Chair Deborah Royal, and AHF Board of Directors Member Cynthia Davis.
“This is an amazing opportunity for two organizations to join forces and expand on the incredible work we already do,” said Dale R. Gluth, AHF’s Bay Area Regional Director. “Having worked with WORLD closely for many years, I know they play a pivotal role in addressing this epidemic. WORLD brings a very necessary skill set and knowledge base to our collective table, and this affiliation will allow both AHF and WORLD to reach more people in need of our services.”
“It is thrilling to unveil the opportunities this partnership has made possible for the Oakland community,” said Cynthia Carey-Grant, Executive Director of WORLD. “We have been working closely with AHF to ensure that this unity will allow us to further expand our support network for marginalized women who are living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS and AHF will also be able to reach a wider population of people needing care.
“The Board of Directors of AHF is ecstatic about the new partnership that has been established with WORLD,” said AHF Board of Directors Member Cynthia Davis. “I have been aware of WORLD’s advocacy, community outreach, primary prevention/risk reduction, harm reduction, and policy initiatives since its inception. Los Angeles HIV/AIDS activist Mary Lucy introduced me to WORLD many years ago when it sponsored an annual retreat for Women Living With HIV/AIDS.
I also subscribed to its monthly newsletter for years, which kept me abreast of issues impacting Women Living with HIV/AIDS on a regional, national and global basis. Thirty-five years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, AHF and WORLD have a proven track record for engaging in effective and proactive advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS. We look forward to working in partnership with WORLD to ensure that all people who are affected by HIV/AIDS, irrespective of ability to pay, have access to quality and comprehensive healthcare and support.”
HIV/AIDS in Oakland/East/Bay/Alameda County
With 11,481 cumulative AIDS cases as of December 31, 2012, the Alameda TGA has the 17th largest number of cumulative diagnosed AIDS cases of any US metropolitan area, and a cumulative AIDS caseload larger than 29 US states. Alameda County alone had the fourth highest number of cumulative AIDS cases by county in California as of December 31, 2012 and during calendar year 2011, a total of 320 newly reported HIV/AIDS cases were diagnosed in the two-county region. Oakland has a third of Alameda County’s population, but approximately half the county’s HIV/AIDS cases. Approximately 57% of the Oakland HIV/AIDS cases are African American (AA) (Alameda County Health Department, 2012). Overall, AA men account for 52% of all male HIV/AIDS cases and AA females account for 75% of all female HIV/AIDS cases. By risk categories: AA MSM account for 72% of all AA male HIV/AIDS cases, AA heterosexual women account for 66% of all AA female HIV cases, and 31% of AA cases are attributable to IDU. Oakland ranks among the highest percentage of diagnosed AIDS cases among women of any major metropolitan area in the western United States. As of December 31, 2012, 19.3% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the two-county TGA were women, compared to 12.2% for LA County, 12.0% for California, and 6.8 % for San Francisco. – See more at: http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/18514#sthash.iMKZG7mo.dpuf