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UCAN Stop AIDS eNews-February 2009



National AIDS Strategy Call to Action

AIDS in the US is a justice issue. African Americans in particular are disproportionately affected by the disease. As of now, the US does not have a National AIDS Strategy, but it appears that progress is being made. President Obama has said that he will work for such a strategy, and many people and organizations have signed on to a call to action asking for a National AIDS Strategy. This open sign on Call to Action calls for a diverse panel to develop a National AIDS Strategy by January 20, 2010. It calls for the strategy to focus on increasing the number of people who know their status and are receiving care, and reducing the number of new infections. For more information and to sign on to the document, visit: http://www.nationalaidsstrategy.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24






New, Cheaper Female Condom Approved by FDA

Female condoms are the only HIV prevention method that is woman initiated. They allow women more power to protect themselves from STIs and pregnancy. They have been expensive and more difficult to find than male condoms, but a new, less expensive female condom will be available soon. Prevention Now! and other organizations worked to encourage the FDA to approve a second generation female condom which will be easier to use and to purchase at 30% less expensive than the original. Prevention Now! led the campaign to approve the new female condom with an open sign-on letter, signed by 170 health and prevention organizations, encouraging the FDA to support this important resource. The FDA granted its approval to the new female condom in December of 2008.

Learn more:
   Click here to read more about the letter.
   Click here to download the final letter with signatures.
   Press Release: Domestic and International HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Organizations Unite to Support Female Condoms at U.S. FDA Review
   Female Condom Fact Sheet: Information and facts about female condoms.



Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) to focus on HIV and Food

Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, (Wider Church Ministries and UCAN) and Wallace Ryan Kuroiwa (Justice and Witness Ministries) participated in the quadrennial meeting of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) in Rome in mid-November 2008.  Every four years the EAA meets to decide on its two primary focus areas for the next four years.  At this meeting EAA chose to continue its focus on HIV and then selected Food as its second area. 

Since it came into existence, the EAA has focused on HIV and AIDS and has initiated various campaigns and produced theological and worship resources in the struggle to end AIDS.  In 2006 and 2008 it was the coordinating organization for faith participation in the United Nations High Level meeting on AIDS.  EAA has also coordinated both ecumenical Pre-Conferences and the interfaith exhibit at the last three International AIDS Conferences. 

The leadership EAA provides has strengthened the faith voice through its three-pronged approach to advocacy:  awareness raising, campaigning and lobbying. 

EAA has normally focused on two areas and food was narrowly chosen over climate change as the second focus area.  Building on achievements in its HIV work and its work on the previous focus area of global trade, the EAA will work to strengthen advocacy for food justice, which includes the care of creation in food production.

Strategy groups have been formed to work on the two issues.  Rev. Schuenemeyer has been selected to serve the on the HIV Strategy Group and Rev. Ryan Kuroiwa has been selected to serve on the Food Strategy Group.

The EAA, located in Geneva, Switzerland, was created as a program of the World Council of Churches.  At the November meeting they became a formal association (non-profit corporation) under Swiss law.  The United Church of Christ is a charter member of the organization.

For more information, go to the EAA web site:  http://www.e-alliance.ch   




UCAN issues Founding Gift appeal

Our vision for the future is bright and there are now glimmers of light at the end of the HIV and AIDS tunnel.  We are ready and eager to assist leaders, local churches and other settings to:

  • assess and develop their HIV competence;
  • access and increase their capacities for response; and,
  • identify their next steps and implement them.

UCAN is poised to provide significant leadership and programs toward living into a world without AIDS.  The relationships we have built and the partnerships we are fostering are key to that future.  Now we need your help, your partnership, to realize them.  Will you join this ministry to keep the promise to stop AIDS by making a financial gift to UCAN? 

A gift in any amount will make a difference, but will you please consider giving at one of the following levels:

  • $120 ($10/month)
  • $600* ($50/month)
  • $1,200* ($100/month)
  • $3,000* ($250/month)

Gifts of $600 or more, given from December 1, 2008 through December 1, 2009, will be part of the Founding Gift Circle.  A plaque will be created to acknowledge those who give at the Founding Gift level.

We recognize that these are difficult economic times and you no doubt are receiving many requests.   We thank you for your time and consideration in making a gift to UCAN.  Regardless of your decision, we look forward to your partnership as we offer compassion and hope, and together create a world free of HIV and AIDS. 

Gifts may be sent payable to:
UCAN, Inc., 700 Prospect Ave E, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100

Thank you!!


Published by UCAN, Inc., the United Church of Christ HIV & AIDS Network
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, Executive Director
700 Prospect Avenue E, Cleveland, OH  44115,   
Toll Free (US): 866-822-8224, ext. 3217; Phone: 216-736-3217; Fax: 216-736-3203
ucan@ucc.org; Web: www.ucc.org/ucan