We’re delighted to announce that FACE AIDS, a nationwide student organization whose mission is to mobilize students in the fight to end AIDS, will soon join the Partners In Health team. Starting this fall, the organization’s college and high school chapters will become the new student arm of PIH | Engage.
A PIH partner since 2005, FACE AIDS has mobilized high school and college students across the country to raise money—$3 million to date—and awareness about our work to provide HIV care in Rwanda.
PIH has supported the organization from its beginning, recognizing the power of students to further the movement for health equity.
"FACE AIDS has profoundly altered the landscape of movements for health equity in the U.S.," said PIH co-founder Paul Farmer. "Students have a crucial role to play in the fight for social justice, as FACE AIDS’ pragmatic solidarity with the patients and communities we serve has demonstrated. We are grateful for their partnership, over many years—and proud, now, to formally welcome FACE AIDS as part of Partners In Health.”
The union of FACE AIDS and PIH | Engage will strengthen students’ connection to the impact of their fundraising for PIH. In turn, PIH will be better positioned to foster future global health leaders, influence global health education, and engage in grassroots advocacy for the right to health.
In the fall, FACE AIDS chapters can choose to continue their work with the support of PIH | Engage leaders, including attending a fall training institute in Boston. Last year, participants heard from Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, and Joia Mukherjee.
“We are overjoyed by this opportunity to be incorporated into the work of Partners In Health, and we are excited to watch the student chapters thrive in this new setting,” said FACE AIDS Executive Director Margo Watson.
When FACE AIDS was founded, PIH had just begun working with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to scale up access to treatment for HIV. At that time, only about 150 rural Rwandans with HIV were receiving treatment with antiretroviral therapy. Today, Rwanda has achieved the United Nations standard for universal coverage of HIV treatment, and PIH supports three hospitals and 41 health centers, serving a population of about 800,000 people.
“FACE AIDS has been a crucial partner in helping PIH fight HIV in Rwanda,” said Jon Shaffer, PIH’s community engagement coordinator. “Now we have an opportunity to build on this success. I believe we can build a massive movement of young leaders dedicated to realizing the right to health.”