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    AIDS Walk San Francisco 2020 Will Be Bi-Coastal, Celebrity-Packed

    By Brett Andrews–

    Our world is rightly serious, and we are piercing through the veil of secrecy, racism, homophobia, sexism, and “other”-ism to bring power and justice forward for the most vulnerable among us. I’m holding on to the bright spots—a Supreme Court victory for LGBTQ employee equality, felony murder charges for shooting unarmed black men, and an international community rising up to acknowledge Black Lives Matter—as I stand up for more accountability and actionable systems change. 

    I also hope to share some lightness and celebration with you all on July 19. We’ve teamed up with AIDS Walk New York to bring the strength of PRC’s longstanding collaboration with GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Center) to an amazing bi-coastal AIDS Walk: Live at Home celebration. The result is a jaw-dropping roster of talent, not to be missed.

    Livestreamed on ABC7, and your favorite online platform, we’ll hear from Vanessa Williams, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Ross Mathews, Peter Gallagher, Mae Whitman, Matt Bomer, Tea Leoni, Laura Linney, and Alan Cumming, with amazing performances by stars like Bette Midler; Gloria Estefan; Skylar Astin; Alex Newell; Betty Who; Megan Hilty, Shoshona Bean, and Katharine McPhee; and Nina West, The Vixen, Ginger Minj, Jackie Cox, Chi Chi DeVayne, Latrice Royale, Willam, and Alexis Michelle … just to name a few.

    So, don’t wait. If you have not yet joined a “walker team,” or registered your own, it’s not too late. I encourage you to join mein fundraising for Team PRCto take part in this exciting new chapter in AIDS Walk history.

    All funds raised through AIDS Walk San Francisco (AWSF) support local Bay Area organizations, and the Community Grantee Program is unchanged. Every dollar we raise together supports those living with HIV/AIDS, pushes back against homophobia, racism and xenophobia, and champions the complementary services our community needs to end the HIV epidemic once and for all.

    Inequities in healthcare access and root conditions fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS today and, in this particular moment, are intensifying vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. African American and Latino men have the highest rates of HIV diagnosis in the Bay Area, in grossly unrepresentative proportion. In 2018, homeless patients accounted for 20% of newly diagnosed HIV cases, despite only representing 1% of the City’s population.

    Born out of the Bay Area’s last health crisis, AWSF remains a seminal opportunity to support a strong, vibrant community and those living with HIV. Right now, that’s more than 31,000 people living with HIV in the Bay Area. Half of those—16,000—live in San Francisco and more than three quarters—that’s over 12,000 people in San Francisco—earn less than 50% of the area median income. They are at high risk for homelessness, are food insecure, and need our community’s help.  

    In the HIV/AIDS advocacy community, we have long seen the direct correlation between the conditions where people live, learn, work, and play and vulnerability to the spread of HIV as well as HIV-related health challenges and mortality through our tireless Getting to Zero efforts. That’s why PRC teamed up with AWSF. As the primary beneficiary in 2020, we’re shining a light on the increasingly urgent need to target the root causes of poverty in order to advance our community and its health. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness and funds that not only support HIV care and prevention services for the most vulnerable, but also address mental health, substance use, housing, workforce, and other critical social services that meet real people’s needs.

    While there have been many advancements in treatment of HIV/AIDS, there still is no cure. Many people with HIV do not receive the treatment they need because they are experiencing poverty, homelessness, exclusion, substance use, and mental health issues making stabilizing and managing their health issues increasingly hard.

    At PRC and the essential frontline HIV/AIDS organizations funded by AWSF, our doors are open and we’re ready to do the work.  But we need you to fundraise—and then to celebrate madly with us! Find out more and register today at https://sf.aidswalk.net/

    Then join us July 19 at 10 am PST for an action-packed livestream of top entertainment, an optional neighborhood walk, and other special surprises. You don’t want to miss it, on ABC7 or your favorite online platform.

    Leading PRC since 2003, Brett Andrews has overseen PRC’s evolution from a small HIV/AIDS legal service agency to an integrated social and behavioral health provider bent on fighting poverty, stigma, and isolation by uplifting marginalized adults and affecting the social conditions of health. He holds an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Washington University, received the San Francisco Pride Celebration’s Heritage Award for 10+ years of service in 2017, and was appointed to the San Francisco Mayor’s Methamphetamine Task Force. https://prcsf.org/

    Published on June 25, 2020