Tomorrow at ARCO Arena, the Sacramento Kings join with Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player, and Sacramento Center for AIDS Research, Education Services (CARES) to encourage fans to be “Greater Than AIDS.” The special game night is organized as part of a national partnership between NBA Cares and Greater Than AIDS, a national movement to respond to AIDS in America developed by the Menlo Park-based Kaiser Family Foundation together with the Black AIDS Institute.
“I’m so pleased that the NBA and the Kings have stepped up in the fight against AIDS. Their leadership will make a real difference in helping our community prevent the spread of this growing epidemic,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
“We are proud to recognize and support the NBA’s longstanding commitment to supporting social causes related to health and wellness through the ‘KINGS>AIDS’ game,” said Kings President of Business Operations Matina Kolokotronis. “The Kings are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of those throughout the Sacramento region, and this important initiative is another way to assist in that cause.”
As part of a locally-focused partnership with funding and support from Sierra Health Foundation, Greater Than AIDS has teamed up with the Sacramento Kings for “KINGS>AIDS” night to mobilize NBA fans and Sacramento 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 Kings game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mayor Johnson will address the crowd during halftime to introduce a NBA/Greater Than AIDS public service message. The KINGS>AIDS game is developed as part of an ongoing partnership between Greater Than AIDS and the NBA/WNBA.
“We believe strongly in the power of partnership and gladly join the Sacramento Kings, Mayor Johnson, Greater Than AIDS and CARES to help build awareness about HIV/AIDS in our region,” said Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt. “We all win when health and quality of life improve for all members of our communities.”
“Everyday in ways large and small, individuals, communities and businesses have deciding moments about critical issues of our day,” said Phill Wilson, Founder & Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute.
Staff and volunteers from a leading Sacramento organization — Center for AIDS Research, Education & Services — will be on-hand at ARCO Arena to distribute custom informational materials that connect fans with local services. All materials distributed to fans at the game feature these local resources.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Greater Than AIDS campaign and to partner with the NBA for this important national effort. We know how important it is to make sure everyone understands how to protect themselves against HIV. Sadly it seems that young people are unaware of the causes of HIV. We are alarmed at the number of new infections among young people under the age of 24 and feel that this event can help raise awareness,” said Bob Kamrath, Executive Director of CARES.
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. The Sacramento area remains disportionately impacted, with higher than national prevalence rates in Sacramento.
Tomorrow’s KINGS>AIDS night tips off at 7 PM at ARCO Arena in Sacramento as the Kings host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tickets are available at http://www.kings.com.
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 Assocation 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