The National AIDS Fund, a grantmaking public charity, and AIDS Action, a nonprofit advocacy organization — both based in Washington, D.C. — have announced a merger to create AIDS United, a national organization that will work to connect funding, advocacy, and capacity-building programs in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the United States.
AIDS United will combine the expertise of NAF, AIDS Action, and their local and regional partners to support community-driven HIV prevention and access to care programs. More than 56,000 people in the United States become infected with HIV each year, and more than 600,000 people currently living with HIV are not receiving access to life-saving care.
Mark Ishaug, current president and CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, will assume the helm of AIDS United in early 2011, when the new organization is expected to launch. Kandy Ferree, current president and CEO of NAF, will serve in a senior consultant role. Rebecca Haag, current executive director of AIDS Action, will serve on the AIDS United Public Policy Committee and continue in her role as CEO/president of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
"Our goals are lofty, and rightly so — ensuring the implementation of healthcare reform and the National AIDS Strategy," said Ishaug. "Securing resources that the AIDS community desperately needs will not be easy, but we have no choice. Ending AIDS is our passion — it's what motivates us, inspires us, and unites us."
"Combining forces to create a stronger and more unified voice will bring us closer to ending the AIDS epidemic in America," said Joe Interrante, AIDS Action Council Board Chair and CEO of Nashville Cares. "Eradicating HIV/AIDS is a battle we can win, united together as advocates, community partners, community-based organizations and educators."