Third Annual 'Light to Unite' Program to Provide Funds and Information

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light to uniteBristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY - News) in cooperation with the National AIDS Fund today launched the third annual "Light to Unite" campaign in support of World AIDS Day. This year's "Light to Unite" program shines a light on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in underserved communities throughout the United States. Bristol-Myers Squibb and the National AIDS Fund are encouraging people across the country to visit http://www.lighttounite.org to show their support and to educate themselves and others on emerging HIV/AIDS issues within diverse communities across the U.S.

On the "Light to Unite" Web site, visitors can light a virtual candle, share stories about how HIV/AIDS has impacted their lives, and help increase awareness of the epidemic by e-mailing a friend. For each virtual candle lit through December 31, 2006, Bristol-Myers Squibb will contribute $1 to the National AIDS Fund, up to a maximum contribution of $100,000, to benefit AIDS service organizations in underserved communities in the U.S. Web site visitors will also have the opportunity to increase the impact of the Bristol-Myers Squibb contribution to the National AIDS Fund by making an additional donation on the National AIDS Fund Web site at http://www.aidsfund.org.

"The 'Light to Unite' campaign will provide thousands of people with the opportunity to embrace the World AIDS Day message of support and hope for people living with HIV/AIDS," said Anthony Hooper, president, U.S. pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. "This program further demonstrates the BMS commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS worldwide, by helping to fund the National AIDS Fund's disease prevention and care work in areas where this support is critical."

"The National AIDS Fund is proud to build philanthropic alliances with corporate leaders like BMS who are dedicated to providing support for communities that are increasingly impacted by HIV/AIDS. The 'Light to Unite' campaign will provide education and funding to grassroots agencies and populations in the U.S. most heavily impacted by HIV/AIDS, including African- Americans, Hispanic-Latinos, youth, and women," said Kandy Ferree, president and CEO, the National AIDS Fund.

The National AIDS Fund provides grants through a network of 29 Community Partnerships. This approach gives grassroots HIV/AIDS organizations access to needed funding, to offer support services that best meet the needs of their local communities.

World AIDS Day is an annual global event on December 1 dedicated to remembering those who have died from AIDS, learning more about the devastating effects of the disease around the world, and reaffirming the commitment to fight it.

According to UNAIDS, about 65 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV, and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. The epidemic continues in the U.S. as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent statistics on HIV/AIDS in the U.S.:

  • More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS, 300,000 of whom are undiagnosed and unaware of their HIV infection.
  • There are approximately 40,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. each year.
  • Minorities in the U.S. account for approximately 65 percent of all HIV/AIDS infections.
  • In 2002, HIV/AIDS was the second leading cause of death for all African-Americans aged 35 to 44 in the U.S.
  • In 2002, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death for African-American women aged 25 to 34.
  • Women account for 27 percent of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the U.S.
  • Nearly 1 out of every 5 people diagnosed with HIV in the U.S. is Hispanic.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. Visit Bristol-Myers Squibb on the World Wide Web at http://www.bms.com.

About the National AIDS Fund

The National AIDS Fund was founded in 1988 to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS by promoting leadership and generating resources for effective community responses to the epidemic. Through its unique network of 29 Community Partnerships, the National AIDS Fund supports over 350 grassroots organizations annually which in turn provide HIV prevention, care and support services to underserved individuals and populations most impacted by HIV/AIDS including communities of color, youth and women.

The National AIDS Fund connects national and local funders, scientists, and community based organizations. With its Partnerships, it invests more than $8 million annually in HIV/AIDS grant making to agencies nationwide, and has the ability and responsibility to lead discussions on the most effective strategies for preventing HIV.

The National AIDS Fund Community Partnerships use the leverage of national Challenge Grants to raise support locally, and make community-level decisions about how and where funds should be spent. Together with our Community Partnerships, the National AIDS Fund has raised and invested over $134 million since 1988 for the fight against HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

source - PRNewswire 

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on November 28, 2006 12:53 PM.

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