BOSTON, Mass.—AIDS Action Committee will light the Prudential Center red to remember those we have lost, honor those who are affected by HIV/AIDS, and commit to ending the epidemic on World AIDS Day, Monday, December 1. The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. in the Prudential Center’s Belvidere Arcade, 800 Boylston Street, Boston. The 2014 Commitment to Action Awards will be presented during the ceremony.
The event, sponsored by Bank of America, will also feature performances from the Fiddlehead Theater Company and light refreshments. The switch will be flipped to turn the Prudential Tower red at 5 p.m.
The 2014 Commitment to Action Awardees are Bristol-Myers Squibb, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Damian M. Ryan.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has devoted significant resources to the development of new medicines and treatments to fight HIV/AIDS while also remaining committed to addressing unmet medical needs; eliminating health disparities and barriers to care; promoting health equity; and improving the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases and health conditions. Since 1999, the company has contributed more than $225,000 to this work. Bristol-Myers Squibb has also sponsored and supported AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run, Bayard Rustin Breakfast, and Taste of the South End. Thanks to this steadfast support and commitment, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AIDS Action have helped improve the health outcomes and quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts. [pullquote]Bristol-Myers Squibb has also sponsored and supported AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run, Bayard Rustin Breakfast, and Taste of the South End. Thanks to this steadfast support and commitment, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AIDS Action have helped improve the health outcomes and quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts.[/pullquote]
Damian Ryan has personally raised more than $22,000 for AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run over the past five years. In doing so, he’s done much more than contribute to a cause that he finds personally meaningful. “I’ve lost a lot of people to AIDS,” he notes. Damian has initiated difficult conversations about the ongoing need for support to fight HIV with co-workers at Ernst & Young and fellow congregants at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Salem, NH, and succeeded in raising awareness about AIDS with people who might otherwise have never given it much thought. “I’m a pretty shy, low-key person,” Damian says. “But in talking about AIDS and soliciting support, it’s been a huge area of personal and spiritual growth for me. In some ways, I get so much more out of this than what I give.”
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) is committed to keeping communities healthy and that commitment extends well beyond ensuring access to health care. Since 1997, HPHC has contributed approximately $500,000 to support the programs and services of AIDS Action Committee and sponsored numerous AIDS Action events including Taste of the South End, the Bayard Rustin Breakfast and AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run. The support is strategic, says Karen Young, HPHC’s Vice President and Chief Inclusion Officer: “We know that by partnering with AIDS Action Committee, we are aligning ourselves with an organization that helps us achieve our mission. When we have an opportunity to integrate outside expertise about how to best serve our members, we end up doing a better job and our members receive better service.”
World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1 and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, first held in 1988. It is estimated that more than 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV and that 39 million have died of the disease (AIDS.gov).
Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection, providing services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. In 2013, AIDS Action formed a strategic alliance with Fenway Health that will allow the two organizations to work more closely together and improve delivery of care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS.
[From a News Release]