We Can and We Will End HIV/AIDS!
My biggest dream is to see the end of new HIV cases by the end of my life. We can get there if a few simple steps are followed - know your status by getting tested, use condoms, use PrEP (if it's right for you), and help those in need who can't afford medical insurance.
I am of the generation when HIV/AIDS first ravished my community and other communities around the world. I was 18 years old when the first reports of a “Gay Cancer” started to be appear – that was June 5, 1981. As more case were reported, fear set in. As days, weeks, months, and years passed, there was so little hope as young men, women, and children were dying at rates that overwhelmed us. Fear of catching the disease divided families and friends, employers fired people out of ignorance, and some doctors refused to treat people with HIV/AIDS.
And in the midst of it all, heroes were born. Lesbians began caring for their gay brothers when no one else would. Bars held fundraising events to help meet the needs of those infected. Nonprofits like the Los Angeles LGBT center started programs to help those in need, and new nonprofits like the San Francisco AIDS Foundation were born. ACT-UP made everyone aware of the crisis that was unfolding and demanded action from the government. And a few brave and fearless politicians put their careers on the line and started demanding money be spent on finding the cause and cure, and treatment.
I am grateful that things have changed, but there's still a lot of work to be done on all fronts. That's why I continue to ride, to help raise funds for those affected by HIV/AIDS, to promote safer sex practices, and to breakdown the stigma that still exists around the disease. I so desperately want to see the end of new infections and a cure for those of us living with the diseases.
This will be my 8th consecutive ride, but not my last. I will continue to ride until there is a cure, or until I physically am no longer able. I will donate the first $3,000 to my ride.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help in a few ways. First, consider donating. No amount is too small (or too big). You can make up to 10 installment payments – a $250 donation would be $25/month or .83/day. Second, ask your employer if they have a matching fund program. Third, ask your friends and family to consider donating, they may have been affected by HIV/AIDS and would like to donate. And finally, I've donated, so won't you?
YOUR DOLLARS AT WORK
- $50,000 underwrites the cost of a medical team for 2 months for 300 patients
- $35,000 funds an HIV Counselor for 1200 clients per year
- $25,000 covers 6 months of mental health therapy for 27 patients
- $15,000 provides comprehensive sexual health services, including HIV and STD tests, treatment, education, and counseling to 100 clients
- $10,000 covers 3 months of psychosocial case management for 300 patients
- $7,500 provides a nurse for one month to administer STD screening and treatments for 400 clients
- $5,000 covers a full year of laboratory testing for 18 patients
- $1,000 covers a full year of medical supply costs for 55 patients
- $1,000 funds one client receiving Post Exposure Prophylaxis
- $250 provides Rapid HIV Antibody tests to 20 clients
- $175 provides HIV prevention counseling sessions to 20 teenagers
- $150 provides comprehensive HIV/STD testing to 1 client
- $100 provides Hepatitis A and B vaccinations to 1 client
- $25 covers the treatment medication for 1 client infected with an STD
- $10 buys 143 condoms that the Health Education and Prevention Program will distribute
With Love and Appreciation