March Is National Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month

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AARDA to Launch Several New Public Service Initiatives

Urges the U.S. Media to Report Autoimmune Stories

Newswise — DETROIT, February 11, 2013 – March is National Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month 2013.

To mark the annual event, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Inc. (AARDA) is encouraging the national and local media around the country to report stories on autoimmune diseases (AD) and autoimmunity as a category of disease.

AARDA itself will undertake a number of new initiatives throughout the month designed to empower patients and educate the public about the 100 known autoimmune diseases and their tendencies to affect women, cluster in individuals and run in families.

In March, AARDA will:

● launch a new multi-media public service campaign (PSA) designed to help patients work more effectively with their doctors in deciding on a course of treatment.

●unveil the results of a new public opinion survey gauging Americans’ awareness of autoimmune diseases

● announce the new “My Autoimmune Story” video series, asking Americans who have been affected by autoimmune disease – patients, families and friends -- to tell their stories in 1-3 minute video vignettes.

● participate in the fifth annual “Get RADICAL” Women’s Conference, March 22-24, in Washington, D.C. Get RADICAL is aimed at empowering women both personally and professionally.

About Autoimmunity and Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease disproportionately affects women. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with ADs, more than 75 percent are women. AD is one of the top 10 leading causes of death of women under the age of 65. It encompasses more than 100 diseases, including psoriasis, Graves’ disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. It is responsible for more than $100 billion in direct health care costs annually.

About AARDA
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation's only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women's health issue, and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.aarda.org.

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