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    Art for AIDS Has Become an Invaluable Resource for HIV-Affected Clients at UCSF Alliance Health Project

    By dk haas

    Art for AIDS began in 1996 as a small community event held by artists who felt powerless while watching their friends die of AIDS. The event was held at SOMArts Cultural Center, and raised a few thousand dollars that was donated to the California AIDS Ride. Now, 20 years later, the auction has raised over 2.5 million, and has become an invaluable resource for the LGBTQ and HIV-affected clients at the UCSF Alliance Health Project (AHP).

    Art for AIDS provides AHP with critical operating resources to serve more than 6,500 clients annually at their Market Street clinic. Today, the LGBTQ and HIV-affected clients at AHP are coping with aging, isolation, income frailty, substance use, psychiatric disorders and homelessness.

    AHP Community Advisory Board member Emily Conley, PhD, reminded us all that there is still work to be done. “The 20th Art for AIDS gives us the opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made,” she said, “but also focuses on the real needs that still exist within the community. HIV testing and key mental health services for the LGBTQ community will be supported by the funds that are raised at Art for AIDS.”

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    Erika Meriaux

    This year, 186 works of art were generously donated and carefully selected by a volunteer jury. The same holds true for all of the hors d’oeuvres, wine, cocktails and silent auction certificates. The generosity of the community in putting together the event is unequaled.

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    Ira-Kahn

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    dk haas

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    Gustavo Ramos Rivera

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    Catherine Palmer

    According to Executive Director James Dilley, MD, “Art for AIDS has played a central role in AHP’s ability to respond to the needs of the people who have come to us for help for two decades. It stands not only as our most important fundraiser, but also as a tribute to the arts community that has both been directly affected by the epidemic and as a testimony to the generosity of Bay Area artists. We couldn’t be more grateful to them for their support!”

    AHP Community Advisory Board member, Brad Hare, MD, conjures the generosity. Hare said, “Art for AIDS is a chance for our family of supporters to come together and celebrate the resilient and creative spirit of the LGBT and HIV-affected communities in the Bay Area and to sustain the impactful work done every day by the staff of the Alliance Health Project.”

    dk haas is an artist as well as the Community Liaison at UCSF Alliance Health Project. For more information about the Project, please visit http://www.ucsf-ahp.org/ To learn more about haas’ artwork, go to http://www.dkhaas.com/