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Fighting against autoimmunity

The Autoimmune Association is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to autoimmune awareness, advocacy, education, and research.

About the Autoimmune Association

For over 30 years, the Autoimmune Association has been a pioneer in serving autoimmune patients, sponsoring research, advocating for access to healthcare, and fostering collaboration to identify and explore the common threads that link autoimmune diseases.

Established through the remarkable determination of Founder Virginia T. Ladd, the Autoimmune Association has transformed into an internationally recognized leader, reaching over 60 countries worldwide. To mark its 30-year legacy and global impact on the autoimmune community, the name of the organization was changed from its original name, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA).

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Our mission

The Autoimmune Association leads the fight against autoimmune disease by advocating and collaborating to improve healthcare, advance research, and empower the community through every step of the journey.

How far we’ve come over the years


Inception of the Autoimmune Association

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Established a nationwide referral service and developed patient education materials.



Co-sponsored first international conference on autoimmunity in Orlando, Florida.

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Successfully advocated for legislation establishing the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee.

Working Together Scaled


Established the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups, which now includes over 50 organizations.

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Successfully advocated for a $30 million additional NIH funding of autoimmune research.

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Engaged a national spokesperson and began advocating for a national autoimmune research plan.

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Provided initial funding for the first Center for Autoimmune Disease Research in the nation at Johns Hopkins University.

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Successfully advocated for passage of the Children’s Health Act, which mandated that NIH develop a National Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan.

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Sponsored a congressional briefing on autoimmunity to bring attention to the need to fund the National Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan.

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Initiated a National Alliance for Autoimmune Awareness involving the NIH, Johns Hopkins University Center for Autoimmune Disease Research, patient groups, and corporations.

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Conducted a National Awareness Campaign and sponsored a “What Every American Needs to Know” public forum.

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Organized an Autoimmune Rally on Capitol Hill to support the “Prevention, Awareness and Research of Autoimmune Diseases Act.”

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Officially enacted March as Autoimmune Awareness Month.

Research Scaled


Reached $1 million milestone for research support.

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Conducted a summit meeting on the Global Status of Autoimmune Diseases.



Organized a series of public and patient forums throughout the country.

Congressional Hearing Scaled


Conducted a congressional briefing on autoimmune diseases for Autoimmune Awareness Month.

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Created a major autoimmune awareness special insert in the Washington Post.

Goals Scaled


Reached $2 million milestone for supporting research.

Press Conference Scaled


Sponsored an Autoimmune Summit and Congressional Briefing.

Th Anniversary Scaled


Celebrated The Autoimmune Association’s 25th anniversary.

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Launched ARNET, an autoimmune disease patient registry.

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NCAPG grew to 50 members, and new website including a robust disease list was launched.

The Autoimmune Association’s core pillars

The Autoimmune Association focuses on four areas to improve the lives of those living with autoimmune disease.

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Despite its high prevalence, fewer than 6% of Americans can name an autoimmune disease and even doctors struggle to make diagnoses. The average autoimmune patient sees four doctors over the course of four years to get a proper diagnosis. The Autoimmune Association works tirelessly to change the conversation through raising widespread awareness and fostering empathy about what it means to live with an autoimmune disease.

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The Autoimmune Association convenes scientists, physicians, and researchers from across disciplines to explore the root cause of autoimmunity to unlock breakthrough treatments and someday, cures.

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The Autoimmune Association is committed to empowering and educating patients to ensure they are supported throughout their journey from getting to a diagnosis, identifying treatment options, accessing care, managing comorbidities, and improving quality of life.

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The Autoimmune Association is active in advocating on the federal and state levels for policies that put patients first. Autoimmune Association's impact is amplified by the 50+ members of the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups.

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Get to know our programs, partners, & values

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Our Team

The Autoimmune Association team is dedicated to improving the lives of people living with autoimmune disease.

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What We Do

The Autoimmune Association is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to autoimmune awareness, advocacy, education, and research.

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Our Impact

The Autoimmune Association is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the millions of people living with autoimmune disease.

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Advocacy Initiatives

The Autoimmune Association advocates for equitable and sustainable access to care.

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Partners & Collaborators

We partner with leading patient and provider organizations, universities, government agencies, foundations, and corporations to improve the lives of those affected by autoimmune disease.

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Autoimmune Association FAQs

Commonly asked questions about autoimmune diseases.

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Financials & Annual Reports

The Autoimmune Association takes pride in providing transparent financial statements.

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Browse open opportunities to join our team!

Make a contribution

Your gift has the power to advance research, expand education, and get us one step closer to a world without autoimmune disease.

Get Involved

Whether it’s advocacy work, volunteering, or attending an event, we have ways for everyone to make a difference!