SAN ANTONIO, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tomorrow at the AT&T Center, the San Antonio Spurs join with Mayor Julian Castro, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, the Bexar County Department of Community Resources, and HIV210.org to get out information about HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma surrounding the disease. The special SAN ANTONIO>AIDS game night is organized as part of a national partnership between NBA Cares and Greater Than AIDS, a national movement to respond to AIDS in America.
In addition to in-arena messaging throughout the March 9th Spurs game against the Detroit Pistons, Mayor Castro will address the crowd during halftime to introduce a NBA/Greater Than AIDS public service message featuring NBA All Stars Pau Gasol, Al Horford and Russell Westbrook and WNBA player Candice Wiggins, whose father died of AIDS. The Spurs are also working with Greater Than AIDS and local San Antonio organizations to organize a private Player Appearance with Spurs legend George "The Iceman" Gervin.
"I'm so pleased that the NBA and the Spurs have made such a strong commitment in the fight against AIDS. Their leadership will make a real difference in helping our community prevent the spread of this growing epidemic," said San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Staff and volunteers from leading San Antonio organizations -- San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Bexar County Department of Community Resources, and HIV210.org -- will also be on-hand at the AT&T Center to distribute custom informational materials that connect fans with local services. All materials distributed to fans at the game feature these local resources.
"The San Antonio is Greater than AIDS Game is an initiative that will help bring much needed attention to the effects that this devastating disease has had on so many people and their families," said Charles Pruski, interim deputy director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
More than 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS today -- more than at any time in the 30-year history of the epidemic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five of those who are positive does not know it. Early diagnosis and treatment are known to improve the lives of those living with the disease. Stigma also remains a major barrier to stemming the spread of HIV. The San Antonio area remains disproportionately impacted, with higher than national prevalence rates in San Antonio.
For more information about the Greater Than AIDS/NBA partnership, go to: http://www.greaterthan.org/nba.
About Greater Than AIDS
Greater Than AIDS is an unprecedented collaboration among a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular among Black Americans and other disproportionately affected groups. Through a national media campaign and targeted community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease. http://www.greaterthan.org
The Kaiser Family Foundation -- a leader in health policy and communications -- provides strategic direction and day-to-day management, as well as oversees the production of the media campaign. The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. The Black AIDS Institute -- a think tank exclusively focused on AIDS in Black America -- provides leadership and expert guidance and directs community engagement. Greater Than AIDS is developed in support of Act Against AIDS, an effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to refocus attention on the domestic epidemic. Additional, financial and substantive support is provided by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund, among others.
About Greater Than AIDS / NBA Cares Partnership
Greater Than AIDS and the National Basketball Association have teamed up to mobilize NBA fans and local communities in response to AIDS in the United States and reduce the stigma associated with the disease. The partnership includes television and radio public service ads (PSAs) featuring NBA/WNBA players, including Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Candice Wiggins (Minnesota Lynx), whose father, former professional baseball player Alan Wiggins, died of AIDS in 1991. The partnership also includes targeted activations, community events, and special "Greater Than AIDS" in-arena nights to bring attention to HIV/AIDS in priority markets. Learn more: http://www.greaterthan.org/nba
SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation