There was a time when I honestly felt compelled when writing about HIV/AIDS that I needed to disclose that I was gay. I say that with a tinge of embarrassment as I was educated by then to know this was by no means a gay disease.
Today, married to the best man in the world, I no longer feel compelled to disclose anything, but rather reflect on how many remarkable souls have been lost to this disease and while I have always made sure to be safe and play safe, at 47 I am of the era that as a man who is gay saw many of my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community taken too soon.
With so much hope, so many advances in medicine, and the death sentence once associated by the diagnosis no longer a reality for most I have become worried that perhaps we have lost perspective and lost our way as tens of thousands still are infected every year with the HIV virus.
To that end, public awareness still remains key to an ongoing battle against the enemy and such I was appreciative to see that Kiehl’s and amfAR have joined collective forces to take on what is still a very real problem.
As only Whoopi and Dita can do with a dash of “realness” and celebrity they are set to kick some ass in the name of further research and ultimately a cure.
In a statement from the brand,
Kiehl’s has already pledged to raise $150,000 for amfAR throughout this year’s ride. By the conclusion, Kiehl’s will have raised $1,600,000 for amfAR, since 2010, funding eight cure-related research projects.
Each year that we embark on LifeRide, we aim to raise more noise, awareness and funds for amfAR than the previous years. This year, honored amfAR supporters, Whoopi and Dita, are lending their voices to do so,” says Chris Salgardo, Kiehl’s USA President. “I’m so proud of all their efforts to raise more visibility and funds to help make AIDS history.
“I’m thrilled to be an amfAR supporter to help kick off this year’s campaign for Kiehl’s LifeRide. As a long-time advocate in the fight against HIV and AIDS, I am confident we will find a cure in our lifetime,” says Dita Von Teese.
I for one believe the time has come, the time is now and the answer is collaboration as we once and for all look HIV/AIDS squarely in the face and say, “ENOUGH”
Check out these PSA Videos