When I started my AIDS/LifeCycle journey 7 years ago, I found myself daunted by the thought of raising the $3,000 minimum to participate as a cyclist. The truth is, that amount barely covers the cost of actually producing the event, but we each do as much as we can to support the things that we believe in.
I believe that we live in an age where nothing is certain except an inescapable fear that somehow, not everything is right with the world. I believe in hope. In resilience. In the indomitable human spirit. In each person out there fighting with the vim, vigor, fury and vitriol to end injustice in whatever form it may take. I believe in fair treatment and basic human rights for everyone. I believe that no person should ever be turned down for medical & psychiatric treatment. I believe that love is love, that it comes in many forms and it is glorious.
I believe in supporting the organizations that share my values and vision of the future I want to live in. I believe in the work of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
That's why, as of this moment I have raised $45,645 in support of those organizations over the last 7 years of my life. It is a labor of love and I will continue to support them for as long as there is need in this world. If you've read my story before, you know exactly why these organizations mean so much to me. If not, I welcome you to read it at the bottom.
Please consider making a charitable donation to these organizations that have proven fundamental in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Not everyone has access to the information, medications, testing, and counseling needed to help prevent and manage its spread. Together we raise money to help provide free services to those in need. From free HIV and STD testing, to mental and substance abuse counseling, to housing for at-risk youths, and so much more. This year I'm striving to make that total $50,000. An outstanding amount of money for outstanding work. There isn't any donation too small to help make a difference in someone's life.
With love and gratitude,
Victor "Tiger" Phillips
It all started when I met my first partner who was HIV positive. I was terrified. I went to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation every two weeks for a free routine HIV/STD test. Each time I would sit there terrified that I may have contracted the disease. As I went, the councilors would always mentor me and gradually, with the help of the SFAF and my partner, I overcame the fear and prejudice that was holding me back from truly being happy in my relationship. Sometime later, at the end of that relationship, I was struck with a long, major depression. I found myself partaking in very risky and self-destructive behavior. Ultimately, resulting in an HIV positive diagnosis.
It was the San Francisco AIDS Foundation that diagnosed me. They helped me get health care coverage, find a doctor, and supported me the entire time while I put my life back together. They've been an amazing presence in my life, all while providing free care during a time when I could barely afford to feed myself. Now I live a very health and active life with my HIV negative husband.
Even though this is my 7th ALC ride, I still feel that I can never repay the San Francisco AIDS Foundation for all of the care they have given me.