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  • Activists mobilizing at International AIDS Conference

    The year 2011 was a year marked with amazing advances in the global fight against HIV/AIDS:

    ● A groundbreaking National Institutes of Health (NIH) study demonstrated that antiretrovirals can reduce heterosexual HIV transmission by 96%.
    ● Economists created models showing that treating 6 million people by 2013 can prevent 12 million new infections by 2020 with cost savings in only 4 years.
    ● On World AIDS Day, Obama announced a commitment to treating 6 million people by 2013.

    It was through many of your efforts, including letter and editorial writing as well as hosting events with your chapters, that this was possible.

    2012 brings another opportunity to harness this momentum to continue the fight. The U.S. for the first time ever will be the host of the International AIDS Conference (IAC) from July 24-27th in Washington D.C. You, as an AMSA member, have an opportunity to attend this inspiring conference and join a huge mobilization in D.C. AMSA is an official anchor organization in the coalition of international human rights community groups that will converge in D.C. on July 24th during the IAC. The goal - to intensify political pressure to ensure access to life-saving HIV treatment and reduce new HIV infections. The IAC Coalition has developed a comprehensive platform of 12 demands regarding access to essential HIV/AIDS treatment (full platform attached to this email). We are hoping that you will join us in sending a strong message to policymakers that AMSA is dedicated to the goal of stopping HIV/AIDS. We are at a major turning point in HIV/AIDS history and now have the potential to be the generation that stops the HIV/AIDS pandemic. But, this cannot happen without your energy and presence at this pivotal conference.

    There are countless ways for you to become involved with this mobilization and attend! Some of you may have already planned to attend and will be presenting posters or engaging in conference sessions. On July 24th, please make sure you set aside time to come out in your white coats and join the demonstration. We also need lots of help mobilizing other students from your own school. If you are interested in becoming a point person for such recruitment, please let us know so we can provide you with materials to get your peers as excited as we are to be a part of this effort. If you want to help out even further, we would love for you join our national outreach committee to coordinate other chapters around the country. Let us know if you want to get involved at any level or if you have any questions by filling this form out. Like us on Facebook too.

    Even if you cannot come to D.C. in July, you can still make a difference and represent AMSA through visits to congressional members, letters-to-the-editor, and events at your school. These efforts, even at a local level, will signal to the international community present at the IAC that our nation’s medical students are invested in ensuring that President Obama keeps his promise to place 6 million people on treatment by 2013 and want to make a difference in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

    As an AMSA member, you have the power to influence the direction of the HIV/AIDS pandemic this July. The science and economics are clear – the end of this disease IS in sight. We hope that you will join us in making this happen during our generation.

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  • Don't Let the Supercommittee Cut Residency Positions!

    As you have probably heard, the Congressional "Supercommittee," or the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, is scheduled to announce its recommendations to cut $1.5 trillion in federal spending over the next ten years on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The Supercommittee was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 back in August to avert the debt ceiling crisis. Congress is scheduled to vote on these recommendations by Dec. 23. If Congress fails to adopt Supercommittee recommendations, there will be an automatic sequestration, or across-the-board cuts.

    The Supercommittee is rumored to be contemplating substantial (up to 60%) cuts to Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding which supports vast majority of residency programs in the U.S. As a result, it is critical that we, as physicians-in-training, make our voices heard on this issue. Please take a few seconds to email your members of Congress and urge them to protect Medicare GME:

    The American Medical Student Association strongly supports continued Medicare GME funding and condemns any effort to cut this funding. Massive cuts to Medicare GME will compromise patient access to care and, in some cases, may result in the closure of some residency programs. As the United States seeks to insure millions of previously uninsured Americans, it is critical that the federal government continue to invest in a robust health professional workforce to meet our nation's health care needs. Sustained GME funding is an essential element of this investment.  

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  • Your Guide to Grassroots Action

    The nation's largest independent medical student organization, AMSA, has amazing members who are constantly working on local and national projects that benefit their patients and the medical community. AMSA's core values lie in fighting for social justice, and in empowering future physicians to change the world.

    Planning a project for this coming academic year? Here is your guide to grassroots action! You will find comprehensive resources for organizing and executing a strategic campaign. These documents provide step-by-step guides to organizing around an issue, creating influential and effective lobbying materials, and getting the message out to those who will effect change. You will find the tactics you will need, whether you are targeting the media, Congress, state legislators, or even fellow medical students.

    For more information or questions, contact AMSA's Grassroots Organizing team. This team consists of leadership representing the following areas surrounding Grassroots organizing:

    • Wellness & Student Life
    • Community and Environmental Health
    • Global Health
    • Gender and Sexuality
    • Race, Ethnicity and Culture in Health
    • Medical Professionalism

    Recommended Reading:

    Community Development: Basic Pointers
    This document was developed by the 2010-2011 Health Justice Fellow, Sonia Lazreg, to guide organizers through the initial process of building a network of allies within a community. Sonia can be reach at

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