FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2014
Advocates to Protest Elimination of HIV Healthcare for Poor Women and Children: “No HIV+ Women and Children Left Behind”
Community advocates around the globe are astonished that the President’s fiscal year 2015 budget has eliminated Ryan White Part D, the only Ryan White program solely for US women, infants, children, youth, and families. With its array of family-centered services, Part D has been instrumental in retaining HIV+ individuals into care and aiding massive reduction of perinatal HIV transmission in the US; annually serving over 50,000 individuals in 40 states and 2 territories.
In hopes of convincing the President and Congress to reverse this decision, a global protest entitled #SaveRyanWhitePartDFlash Blog: “No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind,” is planned on April 10, 2014 as an all day event.
The date of the protest is dually significant. In addition to coinciding with National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), the numbers 4/10 represent the dollar amount of savings that was felt to be of greater value than the Part D program ($4 million), and the month that the elimination is slated to go into effect (the 2015 fiscal year begins in October – the 10th month of the year).
The #SaveRyanWhitePartD: No HIV+ Women & Children Left Behind” Flash Blog protest on NYHAAD will be hosted by the Save Ryan White Part D Initiative, a consortium of community organizations in Texas and Florida. Save Ryan White Part D has mobilized the community with a Change.org petition that has obtained nearly 800 signatures and counting, a We the People petition, and a variety of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a public blog).
On NYHAAD, protestors from around the globe will participate in a peaceful Flash Blog protest, submitting hundreds of essays, poems, pictures, videos, and stories depicting the lives of the very community that stands to lose the most if this vital funding is cut (and its supporters). A multi-media project entitled, “We Exist” will also be unveiled. Additional protest events, such as rallies, prayer vigils, and a webinar, are being planned by consortium members.
We welcome more petition signatures as well as submissions for the Flash Blog!
Morénike Onaiwu, SaveRyanWhitePartD@gmail.com
Leslie Raneri, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Kitchen, email@example.com
J.Raheem Harris, JRHarris.DallasAAG@gmail.com
Save Ryan White Part D Initiative Founding Agencies:
Positively U (Janet Kitchen)
Living Without Limits, Living Large (Cecilia Smith-ross)
Texas Black Women’s Initiative;
3 Sisters in the Spirit Theater Ministries (SisterMama Sonya)
Dallas Awareness+Action Group (J Raheem Harris)
Campaign to End AIDS-Southwest