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The United States Conference on AIDS, hosted by the National Minority AIDS Council, brings together over 3,000 HIV professionals and community activists to increase the strength and diversity of the community-based response to the AIDS epidemic through education, training, new partnerships, collaboration and networking.
The National Minority AIDS Council develops leadership in communities of color to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS.
Since 1987, NMAC has advanced its mission through a variety of public policy education programs; national conferences; treatment and research programs and trainings; electronic and printed resource materials; and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC represents a coalition of 3,000 F/CBOs and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide. NMAC's advocacy efforts are funded through private funders and donors only.
History of the Agency
Leaders of prominent minority AIDS organization nationwide - including Paul Kawata, Gil Gerard, Calu Lester, Don Edwards, Timm Offutt, Norm Nickens, Craig Harris, Carl Bean, Suki Ports, Marie St.-Cyr and Sandra McDonald - started the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) in response to the American Public Health Association (APHA) decision to not invite anyone of color to participate on the panel of its first ever AIDS workshop, at its 1986 association meeting. Harris, an African-American gay man living with AIDS, announced the formation of NMAC during that panel discussion after he rushed the stage, shouting "I WILL BE HEARD" and taking the microphone away from Dr. Merv Silverman, then the San Francisco Health Commissioner.
NMAC then set about to building awareness around the impact of HIV in communities of color. Its first order of business was meeting with US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop while he was writing his historic report about AIDS. Originally scheduled for just 15 minutes, Koop, who had not known about the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS among minorities, sat riveted by NMAC's representatives for nearly two and half hours. The report would become the only publication, other than tax and census forms, to be mailed to every person in the United States. The agency incorporated in 1987, and soon launched its groundbreaking social marketing campaign, Live Long Sugar, with Patti LaBelle, which alerted people of color living with HIV/AIDS about the dangers of the common HIV co-infection, Pneumocystis carnii pneumonia (PNP).
In 1989, NMAC partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) to help build the capacity of small faith- and community-based organizations (F/CBOs) delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color. This changed the mission of the agency from raising awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS among minorities, to building leadership within communities to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS.
Today, NMAC accomplishes this mission through a variety of public policy education programs; national conferences; treatment and research programs and trainings; electronic and printed resource materials; and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC represents a coalition of 3,000 F/CBOs and AIDS service organizations (ASOs) delivering HIV/AIDS services in communities of color nationwide. NMAC's advocacy efforts are funded through private funders and donors only.
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