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United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Presents Leadership Awards

United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee
www.umglobalaidsfund.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11,2010

Dallas, Texas: The United Methodist Global AIDS Committee will present several awards honoring United Methodists who have made significant contributions to ending AIDS in the world at the upcoming Lighten the Burden lll International AIDS Conference held October 14-16, 2010 in Dallas, Texas at the Radisson Hotel Central Dallas.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Friday evening banquet when Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, will be the featured speaker.

This is the third international AIDS conference sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee with the support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and several United Methodist general agencies, but it is the first time leadership awards will be presented.

Honored will be persons and churches that have provided outstanding leadership in providing education, prevention, care, and treatment in the struggle to eliminate HIV and AIDS. The 2010 recipients are:

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura (Dallas, Texas), who have gone to exceptional lengths to promote a U.S. response to Global AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In 2003, Bush launched PEPFAR as the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease. (President and Mrs. Bush are unable to attend the event due to previously established schedules, but expressed appreciation for the honor.)
Bishop Fritz Mutti and his wife Etta Mae (Kansas City, Missouri), who are past co-chairpersons for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund and long-time leaders in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. The Muttis lost two sons to the disease.
Dr. Musa Dube (Gaborone, Botswana), a United Methodist biblical scholar and theologian from Botswana who acts as a HIV and AIDS activist and consultant for churches and theological institutions in Africa.
The Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, which contributed $160,000 towards the worldwide effort against HIV and AIDS at the very same time they were struggling to overcome their own Hurricane Katrina disaster.

"In different ways, each honoree has helped to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, sought to reduce stigma and discrimination, and promoted education, prevention, care and treatment," said Donald E. Messer, chairperson, United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee.

The purpose of Lighten the Burden lll is to help create an AIDS-free world through advocacy, combating HIV, training, increasing awareness, overcoming apathy, and nurturing a Christ-centered and church-oriented global health initiative. The conference will offer participants practical ways to get involved in HIV/AIDS education, advocacy, prevention, as well as mobilize and influence their communities through action.

According to UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), an estimated 33.4 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, including about 2.1 million children. More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.

Anyone who is interested in giving to the Global AIDS Fund can contribute through their local United Methodist Church or send gifts to: UMCOR Advance #982345 Global AIDS Fund, P.O. Box 9068, New York, N.Y. 10087-9068. You may also call 1-800-554-8583 to make a credit card donation. One hundred percent of contributions will go directly to AIDS programs.

For more information about Lighten the Burden lll: Working Towards an AIDS-Free World, visit www.umglobalaidsfund.org.

Media contact:
Diane Degnan
ddegnan@umcom.org
615-742-5406

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