Relay to benefit and raise awareness for Canadians and people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS
ST. JOHN'S, NL, April 21, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mylan Relay for Hope kicked off at City Hall in St. John's, Newfoundland, today at a launch event featuring local dignitaries and the first group of runners setting off on an estimated 8,500 km relay across Canada in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Organized by Mylan N.V. (Nasdaq: MYL) in partnership with the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS), the relay will raise funds for people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and promote awareness and education about the disease for all Canadians.
The six-month cross-country campaign will raise much-needed funds for CAS, a Canadian charity, as well as for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, a global charity that has partnered with Mylan on various HIV/AIDS-related initiatives around the world.
"For the past 30 years, CAS and its partners have played a pivotal role in the HIV and AIDS movement in Canada," said Monique Doolittle-Romas, chief executive officer of the Canadian AIDS Society. "Our staff, volunteers, partners and member organizations are fearlessly dedicated to strengthening the response to HIV/AIDS across all sectors of society and to enriching the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS. We are truly honoured to have the support and assistance from Mylan and its partners and look forward to an amazing campaign ahead."
The national relay team will feature 35 runners divided into teams, each of which will be responsible for running the distance in its province. The runners will be followed by a campaign-themed RV that will transport sections of the Canadian AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Canadian counterpart of the AIDS Memorial Quilt that originated in San Francisco in 1987. Comprising more than 80 sections, each counterpane memorializes a person who has succumbed to AIDS through the symbolic comfort of a quilt.
They will also travel with the Mylan Quilt of Hope, a grassroots idea developed by Mylan and a group of volunteer quilters, and will invite Canadians along the way to sign a commemorative panel that will be assembled into a larger quilt to be revealed at the conclusion of the relay.
"Mylan's mission is to provide the world's 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, including those who depend on our antiretroviral treatments," said Naguib Fahmy, recently announced head of Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC in Canada. "Our longstanding commitment to fighting the disease already has made a big difference for millions of people and their families and communities. Approximately 40% of those being treated for the disease in the developing world today depend on our ARV products."
Sir Elton John affirmed his support for the Mylan Relay for Hope, "This kind of initiative is urgently needed in many countries around the world to raise awareness about this deadly disease that has killed so many and to raise funds to help treat people living with HIV/AIDS – not just in Canada, but everywhere around the world."
Worldwide, 35 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, including an estimated 71,300 Canadians.
The relay is scheduled to end in Hope, British Columbia, by mid-October. The first provincial border crossing and team change will take place in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, on or about May 11, 2015.
Canadians are encouraged to participate in the campaign by donating directly to the cause, signing up to be a fundraiser, or tracking the runners in real-time and running a distance with them. Information is available at www.relayforhope.ca or by following the campaign via Twitter @relayforhope_ca or by using the hashtag #RelayforHope.
References: (1) Canadian AIDS Society and (2) UNAIDS
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what's right, not what's easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of around 1,400 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately 40% of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in about 145 countries and territories. Our workforce of approximately 30,000 people is dedicated to creating better health for a better world, one person at a time. Learn more at www.mylan.ca.
About the Canadian AIDS Society
Incorporated since 1986, the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) is a national coalition of community-based AIDS organizations across Canada. CAS is dedicated to strengthening the response to HIV/AIDS across all sectors of society, and to enriching the lives of people and communities living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, please visit www.cdnaids.ca.
About the Elton John AIDS Foundation
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people's lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $321 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
A photo will follow.
SOURCE Mylan Pharmaceuticals