(San Francisco, CA, September 27, 2013)—Today, in support of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, hundreds of organizations and individuals have signed onto a joint letter to re-engage with the broader LGBTQ community in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gay, bisexual and men to have sex with men account of 63% of the new HIV infections in 2010.  In fact, gay men are the only group in which HIV infections are increasing.

“The LGBTQ Boomer generation was devastated by the AIDS epidemic.  SAGE’s constituents lost more friends and loved ones than we can count” says Michael Adams, Executive Director of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for LGBTQ Elders). “Our hope for the next generation is to live in a world without AIDS. We can make this a reality, but it’s going to take all of us.  Its time for the LGBTQ community to come back to the fight against HIV/AIDS, and SAGE is ready for that fight.”

“Thirty-plus years since the epidemic first hit, gay men still account for the highest rates of new HIV infections and our nation still hysterically criminalizes HIV status,” says National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell. “We are now on the brink of ending the epidemic and bringing sanity to how we treat those who are positive, but only if our entire community gets engaged and involved.”

“Our Center has been fighting HIV since the beginning,” says Glennda Testone, Executive Director of the New York City LGBTQ Community Center. “It’s time for all of us to reestablish our focus, and come back to the fight with renewed energy and vigor. This time we are going to end an epidemic.”

Excerpt from Joint Letter:

“Over the last 30 years, the LGBTQ community has seen great strides in the movement for full equality.  Much of this success is the result of a concerted movement, which was galvanized in response to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s … In the decades since our movement has seen incredible victories … Unfortunately, our community hasn’t maintained the same momentum in our fight against HIV… Each day, more then 80 gay and bisexual men become infected with HIV in the United States … Despite these alarming statistics, which have galvanized our community in the past, the HIV epidemic has seemed to fall by the way side.  Many in our community have simply stopped talking about the issue.  This must change.”

Read more at www.WeTheLGBT.org.