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March 9, 2007
SGN.org
Volume 35
Issue 10
 
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AIDS Awareness & Action Day brought more than 260 AIDS advocates to Olympia for sound HIV/AIDS policies
Olympia, Wash.-February 23, 2007-More than 260 AIDS advocates from all parts of Washington state came together in the state capital on Wednesday, February 21 for Lifelong AIDS Alliance's AIDS Awareness & Action Day, held every two years. The group discussed HIV/AIDS issues with more than 100 state representatives and senators.

"We were thrilled to have representation from 42 of the 49 legislative districts at AIDS Awareness & Action Day," said Tina Podlodowski, executive director of Lifelong AIDS Alliance.

In addition to the 260 attendees in person, an additional 58 people from across the state e-mailed their legislators to show their support of AIDS Awareness & Action Day.

The group had five policy priorities that were discussed with legislators:
- Increasing state funding levels for HIV care and support services
- Funding an expansion of the benefit of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to low income King County residents with chronic illnesses
- Expanding access to insurance for people living with AIDS through Washington State Health Insurance Pool
- Supporting the Healthy Youth Act to put medically accurate sex education in schools
- Supporting the Domestic Partnership Bill

In addition, a group of six AIDS service organization executive directors met with Governor Christine Gregoire to discuss the state of HIV/AIDS policies in Washington state.

"Governor Gregoire reaffirmed her strong commitment to care and services for people living with HIV/AIDS and we're thrilled to have her focused on the health needs of all Washingtonians," said Podlodowski.

Rep. Jeannie Darneille, Rep. Jamie Pedersen and Sen. Ed Murray spoke to the crowd during opening and closing ceremonies, addressing their support of HIV/AIDS issues in Washington state.

The event, organized by Lifelong AIDS Alliance, was sponsored by Pride Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline and was held in conjunction with People of Color Against AIDS Network, Spokane AIDS Network, United Communities AIDS Network, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Care Bearers, Evergreen AIDS Foundation, Kitsap County HIV/AIDS Foundation, Gay City Health Project, BABES Network - YWCA, Bailey-Boushay House, Rosehedge/DeWolfe AIDS Housing and Health Care and Multifaith Works.

About Lifelong AIDS Alliance
Lifelong AIDS Alliance provides food, housing and health insurance to people living with HIV/AIDS in King County. Lifelong also provides prevention education and is a leader in local, regional and national advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS. Over 85% of Lifelong AIDS Alliance's clients live on less than $15,000 per year. With a $16 million budget, Lifelong AIDS Alliance is the leading AIDS service organization in the Pacific Northwest and is recognized nationally for its innovative work. The AIDS WALK is the organization's largest annual fundraiser. More information about Lifelong is available at www.llaa.org.

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