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For Immediate Release

Med Students, Health Professionals Rally for AIDS Funding

Cambridge, Mass - 07/06/2009

WHO: Dozens of local medical students, health professionals and concerned citizens

WHAT: Rally for Domestic and Global AIDS Funding. The rally is part of a coordinated effort of dozens of HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations calling on Congressional leaders to fulfill US commitments to global AIDS initiatives. From June 30-July 7, activists in cities across the country are targeting members of the US Senate Appropriations Committee, urging them to increase funding levels for global and domestic AIDS programs. This event is co-sponsored by Physicians for Human Rights; American Medical Student Association; Our Bodies, Ourselves; Health Care for All.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 12:30 pm

WHERE: Beacon Hill, Steps of State Capitol Building**Please Note Location Change

VISUALS: Dozens of medical students and health professionals in white coats in front of State Capitol Building. Giant counter tallying the number of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths in the US and around the world every 9.5 minutes.

WHY: Every 9.5 minutes, there is one new HIV infection in the US and 45 new HIV infections worldwide. Every 9.5 minutes, there are 36 AIDS-related deaths worldwide.

Congressional appropriators are in the process of setting funding levels for global and domestic HIV/AIDS programs. Levels under consideration are drastically short of what is needed to fulfill US commitments to fight AIDS at home and abroad. The Senate Appropriations Committee is schedule to consider global AIDS funding levels on Wednesday, July 8.

President Obama's new global health initiative calls for $63 billion over six years for all global health programs. Physicians for Human Rights estimates that the HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria programs supported by PEPFAR alone need at least $60 billion over six years. PHR also estimates that a total of at least $95 billion over six years is needed for all of the global health initiatives outlined in President Obama's plan and to meet all US global health commitments.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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