Pridelines Youth Services' Victor Diaz-Herman is one of 34 executive directors representing LGBT/HIV advocacy groups to sign a joint statement to continue fighting the AIDS epidemic.
Diaz-Herman, the only executive director from South Florida, also appears in a YouTube video released Monday.
Here is the news release:
Thirty-Four LGBT/HIV Advocacy Groups to Mark Pride Month with Joint Statement on HIV/AIDS
Executive Directors Urge Broader LGBT Movement to Re-engage in Fight to End the Epidemic
Miami, FL - June 3, 2013 - As the nation marks the opening of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, executive directors from 34 LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations from across the United States have released a joint letter committing themselves and their organizations to re-engaging the broader LGBT community in the fight against HIV. While issues like marriage equality and employment protections for LGBT workers have taken center stage, HIV continues to ravage the LGBT community. Despite making up just two percent of the population, gay and bisexual men accounted for more than 63 percent of new HIV infections in 2010. In fact, gay men are the only group in which HIV infections are increasing.
"We are at an important crossroad in our fight against HIV," said National Minority AIDS Council Executive Director Paul Kawata. "The evidence behind treatment as prevention, and expansions in health care coverage that will accompany implementation of the Affordable Care Act, have provided a unique opportunity to end this epidemic, which has ravaged our community for more than three decades. But this will not happen without the full engagement of those most impacted by the disease, and no community has been more heavily affected than the LGBT community. I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign to re-energize the LGBT response and work together to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation."
"Since the beginning, Pridelines has been committed to educating young people about HIV and STIs, safe sex and preventative measures while encouraging them to always know their status. In fact, we were one of South Florida's first dedicated testing sites," said Pridelines Youth Services' Executive Director Victor Diaz-Herman. "Therefore we're honored to be a part of this campaign to re-engage our community on both a local and national level in an effort to see an aids free generation."
"As an organization that has been working to combat HIV discrimination since the beginning of the epidemic we are excited to see the LGBT movement re-commit to this work," said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal. "Because gay and bisexual men and transgender people are disproportionately affected by the epidemic and because we see the effects of discrimination and laws targeting people with HIV for criminalization it is incredibly important for the LGBT community to step up."