SisterLove, Inc. and Merck Launch "Everyone Has A Story" Series

Unique HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care Educational Series, Partnership Helps HIV+ Women of Color Share Their Stories

Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:08 am EST

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"Our longstanding commitment to improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care, and reducing healthcare disparities, is part of Merck's mission to help more and more people around the world be well"

In honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, SisterLove, Inc., with support from Merck, today announced the launch of "Everyone Has a Story," a mini-documentary and educational HIV/AIDS treatment and care resource. "Everyone Has a Story" features interviews with HIV positive women speaking about the challenges of HIV and how they seek to overcome them in their daily lives. It gives the HIV/AIDS community a unique new tool to bring HIV-positive women critical information and support, and help improve treatment access and adherence among women of color.

In the United States, women account for more than one-quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Among Black Americans, 1 in 30 women will receive a positive HIV diagnosis at some point in their lifetime.

"We have come a long way over the 30 years of the HIV epidemic, but there is still a lot to do," says Dazon Dixon Diallo, Executive Director of SisterLove. "At SisterLove, we have always recognized the power of women's voices. 'Everyone Has a Story' allows positive women of color to explore issues related to HIV/AIDS while sharing their stories, which helps change the way women of color are treated, access treatment and care, and learn to live with HIV. We are proud and honored to partner with Merck to launch this resource and support this dialogue."

"Everyone Has a Story" is an educational series for healthcare professionals, health advocates, and HIV/AIDS service organizations. The series addresses critical topics around living with HIV/AIDS, including starting and adhering to treatment, patient-provider relationships and social support.

"Our longstanding commitment to improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care, and reducing healthcare disparities, is part of Merck's mission to help more and more people around the world be well," said Patrick Bergstedt, senior vice president and general manager, Infectious Diseases, Global Human Health, Merck. "Our collaboration with SisterLove on 'Everyone Has a Story' is a critical part of this ongoing commitment and we are excited to launch this resource today, in honor of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. We are proud to partner with SisterLove to make this innovative HIV/AIDS treatment and care education series available to the HIV community."

SisterLove will debut the "Everyone Has a Story" series this evening at the Georgia Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Program and Gala, and plans to introduce the series in other major U. S. cities throughout the year. The event will honor women that have made significant contributions to fight against HIV/AIDS, including SisterLove's Diallo.

To view the video portion of this resource, please visit info@sisterlove.org and for more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit www.healthywithhiv.com.

To Request "Everyone Has a Story"

"Everyone Has a Story" series content includes a DVD with five topical vignettes, a "how-to" workshop preparation and facilitators guide, and a workshop slide deck. To request the resource in DVD format or web-friendly files, please contact: Vanessa Teller at 404-505-7777 or info@sisterlove.org.

About SisterLove

SisterLove is the first and largest non-profit in Georgia to focus specifically on the needs of women at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. SisterLove's mission is to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV/AIDS and other reproductive health challenges upon women and their families through education, prevention, support and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships that donate and deliver our products to the people who need them. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

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