Time is really running out before my AIDS/Lifecycle ride and I’m super excited to get to San Francisco, to join the thousands of riders on some beautiful California highways! I’ve been doing lots of training cycle rides around Cape Town, including one yesterday that took me up the northern suburbs of Cape Town. I’ve never travelled through there, and it was a fantastic sunny day cycling along the coastal highways. The entire way back I couldn’t stop looking up to Table Mountain- I am going to miss this city so much! I leave on the May 27th (in two weeks and i can’t believe it at all) to head back to MD for three days and then I’m off for the Lifecycle!
The AIDS/Lifecycle is a massive event coordinated by the LA Lesbian and Gay Center and the SF AIDS Foundation. It raises money for life-saving treatment, prevention, and outreach programs to help those with HIV/AIDS life a long and healthy life and stop new infections. The average HIV/AIDS treatment program cost about $20,000 in medication alone- and only by strict adherence to these medications have positive individuals been able to survive. We have progressed from the horrible facts of HIV from the late 80’s, but it is still a virus that tears down individuals, families, and communities. What pains me the most is that HIV/AIDS is completely preventable. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus frequently hits marginalized communities most - but the biggest risk of contracting HIV is being human. Only through sharing access to resources like education, mother-child meds, condoms, counseling, and testing will we be able to see a day with an HIV/AIDS free generation. This "Getting to Zero" idea I first saw in a nearby township (read my quick blog about it), and I can’t get it out of my head. One day, we will see an HIV/AIDS free generation. But only through action will we get there.
That’s why I do what I do.
That’s why I am asking you to Donate to two amazing groups saving lives and fighting to bring an HIV/AIDS free generation to our future.
Every donation I have received has blown me away. I’ve received support from my family, friends, people that follow my blog, and others that I barely remembered that we were friends on Facebook. It truly has been an amazing experience fundraising for the AIDS/Lifecycle ride, and it makes me so thankful to all of you. Even if you haven’t been able to donate, your words of encouragement are what I will hold onto as I cycle all 545 miles of road in June.
Again, THANK YOU- with love, sunny days, and rooibos tea from Cape Town,
This is an amazing essay about a young gay couple- one positive, one negative. Glimpse into the stories around testing, sex, doctors, drugs, love, and trust. Probably one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Chad, my boyfriend, types to me from the Hyatt on New Jersey Avenue, “I am hiv positive.” We study the screen together, 1,426 miles apart. The cursor of my chat window blinks for me. I’m not stunned, or even much scared, really; definitely not sickened, repulsed. I am more overcome by the simple fear that the chat window will time out, that my Internet connection will lapse, that he will think, alone in a computer lab on the other side of the country, that I have closed out. So I type in a rush, “That’s OK,” and then add, “Really.”
I’m not sure he entirely believed me, then, but he came back.