Last week my organization, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, announced a series of grants to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations to promote testing and prevention, spread awareness and fight anti-H.I.V. stigma. I hope other organizations will join us in identifying the groups at the greatest risk of contracting H.I.V. and working with people in those groups to find stability and hope. And while I hope that groups outside the lesbian and gay community join us, I do believe that those of us within the community have a special obligation.
A Message From Our Founder and More
When you pass the site of the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center you will undoubtedly see our beautiful new sign. As I look at it, I think of our mission: to eradicate the HIV stigma by documenting the history of HIV/AIDS, educating people about the disease, remembering those who have suffered from it, enlightening the world to this continuing tragedy and empowering the survivors. Our exhibit, Chronology of AIDS was completed in May 2014. Our initial opening hours are on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We also offer guided tours and the ability to tell your story on film.
Exciting new research suggests that a single injection administered every one to three months may someday give an alternative to the daily pills people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV. The drug has been tested for prevention in monkeys, and it completely protected them from infection in two studies. “This is the most exciting innovation in the field of HIV prevention,” said Dr. Robert Grant, an AIDS expert at UCSF. The long-acting drug is “extremely safe, well tolerated.”
The World AIDS Museum idea grew out of the Fort Lauderdale based group "Pozitive Attitudes", a topic driven support group for HIV positive individuals. Steve Stagon, the facilitator, started creating historical HIV/AIDS exhibits as topics for the group. These were displayed at the Pride Center of South Florida and Blanche Ely High School. HIV/AIDS exhibits by other artists had also been displayed at the Pride Center and the idea of a museum grew from there.
WITH THE OPENING OF THE MUSEUM WE WILL CLOSE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME A “FOUNDING MEMBER” OF THE WORLD AIDS MUSEUM. YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS EXCITING ENDEAVOR BY JOINING AS A FOUNDING MEMBER BEFORE DECEMBER 2, 2014 AND MAKING A PERSONAL COMMITMENT TO ENSURE THAT THE MUSEUM’S MISSION BECOMES A REALITY. FOUNDING MEMBERS’ NAMES WILL BE PERMANENTLY AND PROMINENTLY RECOGNIZED ON THE MUSEUM WALL AND WEBSITE.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34% of gay or bisexual men living with HIV don't know. Moreover, one in five gay men in major U.S. cities is HIV positive. Nearly half don't know it. It doesn't have to be this way. Let's bring HIV out of the closet this National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, September 27th. YOU NEED TO KNOW TOO!
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In The News
We’ve got some of the most powerful antiretroviral HIV drugs at our disposal, capable of preventing AIDS and prolonging life to near-normal expectancy, but they’re only reaching a fraction of the people who need it.
What follows is a story we never hear. It is a tale of seizures and brain cancers, of mental illness short-circuiting anti-HIV medication. It is a story, far from unique, that has been sunk, weights tied to the ankles.
Magic Johnson at the dedication of the World AIDS Museum & Educational Center. The high-tech and creative museum officially opened May 15, filling about 3,500 square-feet with photos, facts and education information.
As President Obama hosted African heads of state in Washington this past week, the global HIV/AIDS epidemic has been back in the news. But we shouldn’t need an international summit to remind us about HIV/AIDS.
In 20 years, the International AIDS Conference has ballooned from a gathering of some 2,000 scientists at the inaugural 1985 meeting in Atlanta, to this year’s multi-disciplinary gathering of 12,000 scientists, activists, and people living with the virus.
Russia is home to the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic. Driven by injection drug use, it is now becoming generalized. If you use injection drugs in Russia, you likely have HIV, hepatitis C, and more often than not, tuberculosis.
The Museum’s Mission resonated with me the moment I learned about it. I am very proud to be a part of what is becoming an important source of education and healing for those affected by HIV/ AIDS.
I support the Museum because one day soon I want to say ‘HIV is no more.’ After that day arrives, the Museum will remind us that no disease should be so politicized that society’s response to it is delayed.
The Museum’s openness and honesty help remove the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS and provide hope that with continued knowledge, the embarrassment associated with the disease may become a thing of the past.