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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.

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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 collaborating to improve healthcare, advance research, and support the community through every step of the journey.

How far we’ve come over the years

1991

Inception of the Autoimmune Association

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1992

Established a nationwide referral service and developed patient education materials.

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1996

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

Black And White Gavel

1997

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

Working Together Scaled

1998

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

Microscope Scaled

1999

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

Media Interview Scaled

2000

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

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2001

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

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2003

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

Congressional Hearing Scaled

2004

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

All Hands On Deck Scaled

2005

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

Press Conference Scaled

2006

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

rally washington dc

2007

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

Icons Scaled

2008

Officially enacted March as Autoimmune Awareness Month.

Research Scaled

2009

Reached $1 million milestone for research support.

Press Conference Scaled

2010

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

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2011

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

Congressional Hearing Scaled

2012

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

Washington Post On Phone

2013

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

Goals Scaled

2014

Reached $2 million milestone for supporting research.

Press Conference Scaled

2015

Sponsored an Autoimmune Summit and Congressional Briefing.

Th Anniversary Scaled

2016

Celebrated The Autoimmune Association’s 25th anniversary.

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2017

Launched ARNET, an autoimmune disease patient registry.

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2021

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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Awareness

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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Research

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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Education

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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Advocacy

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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Careers

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!