LOS ANGELES — Tonight at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Clippers join with Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy and the Black AIDS Institute to get out information about HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma surrounding the disease. The special LOS ANGELES>AIDS game night is the second game with the Clippers organized as part of a national partnership between NBA Cares and Greater Than AIDS, a national movement to respond to AIDS in America.
“Everyday in ways large and small, individuals, communities and businesses have deciding moments about critical issues of our day. In Los Angeles, the Clippers have the ability to raise awareness and save lives like almost no other organization,” said Phill Wilson, Founder & Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute.
As part of a locally-focused partnership with funding and support from The California HealthCare Foundation, Greater Than AIDS has teamed up with the Los Angeles Clippers to mobilize NBA fans and Los Angeles communities in response to AIDS in the United States and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. In addition to in-arena messaging and co-branded giveaways at tomorrow’s Clippers game against the Dallas Mavericks, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will address the crowd during halftime to introduce an NBA /Greater Than AIDS public service message featuring NBA All Stars Pau Gasol, Al Horford and Russell Westbrook and WNBA player Candice Wiggins, whose father died of AIDS.
“While major advances have occurred to help HIV patients live longer lives, more work needs to be done to raise awareness about prevention and spread of the disease,” said Mark D. Smith, M.D., M.B.A., president of the California HealthCare Foundation. “We are proud to team up with Greater Than AIDS and the Los Angeles Clippers to support the Los Angeles>AIDS game night,” he said.
Staff and volunteers from two leading Los Angeles County organizations — Black AIDS Institute and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health –will be on-hand at the Staples Center to distribute custom informational materials and connect fans with local services. All materials distributed to fans at the game feature these local resources.
“The Los Angeles County Erase Doubt HIV prevention campaign strives to draw attention to the epidemic by encouraging testing among those at high-risk for HIV and by building awareness about the availability of free care and treatment for those living with HIV. Residents can go to EraseDoubt.org to find local HIV/AIDS resources,” said Mario J. Pérez, Director, Los Angeles County Office of AIDS Programs and Policy.
More than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today — more than at any time in the 30-year history of the epidemic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five of those who are positive does not know it. Early diagnosis and treatment are known to improve the lives of those living with the disease. Stigma also remains a major barrier to stemming the spread of HIV. Los Angeles County remains disproportionately impacted, with over 62,000 people living with HIV and AIDS.
For moreinformation about the Greater Than AIDS/NBA partnership, go to: http://www.greaterthan.org/nba.
About Greater Than AIDS
Greater Than AIDS is an unprecedented collaboration among a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular among Black Americans and other disproportionately affected groups. Through a national media campaign and targeted community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease. http://www.greaterthan.org
The Kaiser Family Foundation — a leader in health policy and communications — provides strategic direction and day-to-day management, as well as oversees the production of the media campaign. The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. The Black AIDS Institute — a think tank exclusively focused on AIDS in Black America — provides leadership and expert guidance and directs community engagement. Greater Than AIDS is developed in support of Act Against AIDS, an effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refocus attention on the
domestic epidemic. Additional, financial and substantive support is provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund, among others.
About Greater Than AIDS/NBA Cares Partnership
Greater Than AIDS and the National Basketball Association have teamed up to mobilize NBA fans and local communities in response to AIDS in the United States and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. The partnership includes television and radio public service ads (PSAs) featuring NBA/WNBA players, including Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx), whose father, former professional baseball player Alan Wiggins, died of AIDS in 1991. The partnership also includes targeted activations, community events, and special “Greater Than AIDS” in-arena nights to bring attention to HIV/AIDS in priority markets. Learn more: http://www.greaterthan.org/nba