While presenting at a plenary luncheon titled Game On: All In to End HIV sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc. basketball star and HIV activist Magic Johnson and television personality Wendy Williams joined dozens of people living with HIV/AIDS, advocates, and care providers in signing the Declaration to End HIV/AIDS in America and committing themselves to making this epidemic a thing of the past.
The Declaration was developed by the National Minority AIDS Council and a blue ribbon panel of more than 80 leaders of the HIV/AIDS community from across the country. The panel was chaired by Dr. Julio Montaner, an internationally renowned researcher and leader in the use of treatment as prevention.
Unveiled yesterday during a special signing ceremony at the first ever Summit to End HIV/AIDS in America, being held in conjunction with the 16th annual United States Conference on AIDS, the Declaration underscores critical scientific and policy developments that will greatly impact the fight against the disease and highlights the values and principles that should guide our efforts as we work to realize an AIDS-free generation.
The following is an excerpt from the Declaration:
"We, the undersigned, recognize that we are at a pivotal moment in our battle against this disease. Policy and science have aligned like never before, making it possible to realistically envision an end to this epidemic. Now our nation faces a fundamental choice: we can continue to sacrifice our public and fiscal health on the status quo, or we can choose to make the smart investments and structural changes necessary to finally end HIV/AIDS. We are committed to doing what it takes to end this epidemic and drafted this declaration to codify the values and principles that should guide our efforts. We publically dedicate our skills, faith, and resources to ending HIV/AIDS in America... "
For the first time in over thirty years, it is possible to envision an America free from HIV/AIDS. But accomplishing this will not be easy. It will require bold, visionary leadership and the commitment of all of us to successfully translate the promise of this moment into a world without HIV/AIDS. Science and research have given us powerful tools; now we must decide to act. We, the undersigned, commit ourselves fully to realizing this dream and invite you to join us.
The entire Declaration can be viewed online here: http://nmac.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DeclarationToEndAIDSInAmerica_FINAL.pdf. This is not the first time Wendy Williams has partnered with NMAC in fighting HIV/AIDS. Last year, she filmed a public service announcement for World AIDS Day titled HIV Ends With Us.
The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) represents a coalition of faith based and community based organizations as well as AIDS service organizations advocating and delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide. Since 1987, NMAC has developed leadership in communities of color through a variety of advocacy campaigns, public policy education programs, national conferences, research programs, capacity building, technical assistance and trainings, and digital and electronic resource materials.