The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis, formerly known as the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement is committed to eliminating the adversity caused by autoimmune arthritis by uniting resources that will raise global awareness, providing wellness education and support, and promoting patient-centered research that will improve the quality of life for those affected by these diseases.



Official Hosts of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day (WAAD14)
Online Virtual Convention May 2oth
(all time zones around the world)

Autoimmune Arthritis
Inflammatory autoimmune diseases where joint affect is a primary component.
While joint involvement is a major factor, because they are autoimmune diseases and inflammatory in nature they also affect the connective and soft tissues and even organs.

Core Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases include: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), Primary
Sjogren's Syndrome (SS), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Still's Disease, Juvenile Arthritis (JA), Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD), Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease/Undifferentiated Spondyloarthropathy (UCTD/USpA) 

  Extended Diseases are those diseases that are autoimmune and can or do involve inflammatory joint affect, but do not have primary joint involvement in most patients.  They may be primarily connective tissue, gastrointestinal, muscular, vascular, etc., and autoimmune with secondary involvement of the joints, if the joints are affected at all.  The IFAA recognizes these Extended Diseases as similar and therefore anticipates our awareness, education, advocacy, and patient-centered research initiatives will produce results that will benefit this extended community.

The Equation
Early Detection=Early Referral=Early Diagnosis=Early Treatment=Better Chance for Remission

Our Mission, which surrounds "The Equation", will boost the patients' chance to achieve remission*.

The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis separates the Core Autoimmune Arthritis diseases from the Extended Autoimmune Arthritis diseases for several reasons.  These include:

1. There are over 80 Autoimmune Diseases and over 100 Arthritis Conditions.  The scope of symptoms is too large, causing major confusion in disease identification and, ultimately, diagnosis.  By focusing on 7 core arthritis diseases that are also autoimmune, plus their Undifferentiated and Mixed counterparts, we will be able to conduct Patient-Centered Research and develop Wellness Education from it in order to educate clinicians and patients on early and progressive symptoms as well as to promote more succinct and definitive treatment plans.

2. In almost all cases, these core diseases involve joint destruction from inflammation (arthritis). Linking them together may help researchers discover more similarities, and thus more specific treatments, to combat these diseases.

3. Given the early symptoms, regardless of the final diagnosis, are quite similar at onset, grouping them in education, especially for those treating patients with early symptoms, may detect the disease earlier. 

4. Earlier detection equates earlier referrals and treatment, broadening the possibility of remission.  Currently, those patients without positive blood work, or clear, definitive disease direction, experience a delay in diagnosis averaging 1-3+ years, but can be much longer.  Because 50% of patients left untreated may experience full disability 10 years after onset, it is imperative that early treatment is available.

5. *All damage from these diseases is permanent.  "Remission" is a term that is used to explain low disease activity or no new disease activity.  However, even if the disease stops progressing, or goes into remission, all damage occurring prior to remission can still cause pain and disability.

To learn more about Early Symptoms, please view this study performed by IFAA (formerly IAAM) in 2012.

History of the term "Autoimmune Arthritis"
The International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis, prior to becoming a nonprofit, located the term "Autoimmune Arthritis" in medical journals and made it public in 2009, encouraging the world to start differentiating your arthritis in order to help separate certain diseases from degenerative arthritis.

"Autoimmune Arthritis" is a term first used by scientists and researchers in the 1980's to differentiate their studies from other arthritis types, but was never publicized.  In 2009 our group took the term and made it public, in an effort to differentiate arthritis types and particularly to group together the handful of primary joint diseases with an autoimmune component. 

  Once this term was established we chose to become a nonprofit, calling ourselves the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (now the International Foundation for Autoimmune Arthritis), which has led the world to an international re-branding of awareness regarding the importance to differentiate these diseases.

In time, we realized that this cluster of diseases actually have overlapping onset symptoms that continue to overlap in similarities and treatments even after diagnosis.  This became important for education, and even medical advances, because if these diseases can be recognized earlier, then referrals can happen earlier, as well as diagnosis, treatment, and even better the chances of remission. 

To learn more our History, visit History of IFAA



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Awareness Merchandise:

History of the International Foundation of Autoimmune Arthritis

In 2009
we were the "Buckle Me Up!" Awareness Movement.

In 2011 we publicized the term "Autoimmune Arthritis", formerly used only in medical journals & research documents, added wellness education & uniting a Global Network of Resources to our scope, & became the 1st & only nonprofit in history to focus exclusively on these diseases.

By 2013, the "movement" caught on & our scope as a 501c3 nonprofit expanded to include patient-centered research, advocacy, & support.

Learn about our history, starting as a "Movement" that simply would not stop.  
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