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Anthony Bongiorno is the President and Founder of The Friends of AIDS Foundation
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER - Anthony Bongiorno
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Copyright © 2011. The Friends of AIDS Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

This is the 30th year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and despite the considerable efforts made by many organizations; the HIV virus still impacts our communities in many ways. This disease continues to remain strong and does not discriminate. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is likely the greatest global health challenge of our lifetime. There are 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide; thousands are dying each day due to complications arising from HIV/AIDS; thousands more becoming newly infected on a daily basis; twenty five percent of those positive are still unaware of their status; and an alarming amount of people do not have access to life saving treatments. According to UNAIDS, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is not expected to plateau until 30-40 years from now.

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While the number of people living with this virus continues to rise, funding for vital programs and services continues to be challenged. Hope and Help are only a hand away and Together We Can Remain Strong. The Friends of AIDS Foundation is a volunteer driven agency with local, as well as national and international reach. We are committed to enhancing the quality of life for HIV positive individuals and empowering people to make healthy choices to prevent the spread of the HIV virus by delivering cutting edge programs and services to individuals regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle.

I established The Friends of AIDS Foundation in 2006 in response to a need for assistance to those impacted by HIV/AIDS. I witnessed too many people falling between the cracks and being left behind. I became aware of the incredibly complex stigma tied to this disease. I saw a complacency building behind the pandemic, budget cuts forcing organizations to curtail their services, and a lack of compassion from providers. I was always passionate about helping others and knew that I could make a difference by bringing that passion to the fight against HIV/AIDS. I began by providing a weekly support group for people living with HIV where they could explore their feelings and address their concerns in a very loving, nurturing, non judgmental and safe environment. Today, our agency has grown into a highly respected organization that serves thousands of people each year. We pride ourselves in having a "can do" attitude and serving all with a sense of urgency, integrity, dignity, respect, and compassion.

I believe that every life matters and every contribution counts. My personal interest is to create a positive impact that will change the future course of this pandemic by helping to develop healthy futures for communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. It is my goal to help bridge the gap for those impacted by this disease by delivering innovative programs that enhance the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS and cutting edge programs that empower people to prevent the spread of HIV. I know that we have the power to end this pandemic and recognize that none of us is as strong as all of us. I invite you to join me in the fight against this disease.

Please remember that if HIV/AIDS has infected or affected your life, refuse to allow it to invade your spirit!

Favorite Quote:  "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
by Margret Mead