AIDS Fund Philly celebrates Black Tie Gay BINGO Download

29:11 Download March 25th

Robb Reichard, Executive Director AIDS Fund Philly and Ronald G. Collman, MD, Director of the Penn Center for AIDS Research discussed the latest news for Philadelphia on HIV. 

There are just over 20,000 people living with HIV in Philadelphia, 10,000 in the surrounding area, up to a third of which are not in treatment.  Many do not know they are infected.   They discussed Philadelphia’s current rate of just over one new transmission each day, well above rates for other major cities.  They attributed it to the city’s high poverty rate, drug use and access to healthcare.  We spoke of numbers, women make up 28% of these numbers, people of color 75%. They noted that Black or brown people face a an infection rate that is 75% higher than their white counterparts, and one in three of these infections will come from sexual contact.

Dr. Collman talked about PREP, now available by monthly injection, PREP can prevent infection;  new treatments can reduce the HIV to undetectable which means non-transferable.  They spoke of the need to get more people willing to seek out PREP and to know their status.  He described his work in research, finding new social paths for better treatment within vulnerable communities, and ultimately, a cure for HIV.  He invites people interested in research studies, treatment options or other information to visit his website by searching for PENN CFAR.    

Robb talked about his work with AIDS Fund, raising private dollars to fund small grants directly to clients of local non-profits to help them stay in treatment.  Averaging just $440 each, they go for rent, appliance repairs, transportation, anything that could impact a person’s ability to stay on their medical plan.  

We talked about fundraising efforts, including the October 20th AIDS Walk Philly, the monthly Gay BINGO, and their annual ‘Formal, Festive or Fabulous’ gala, Black-tie Gay BINGO April 6 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.  Featuring dinner, dancing, auctions, six rounds of BINGO and Drag Queen performances, it’s one of the biggest social events of the year.  Dr. Collman will be honored this year with the Fierce and Fabulous Award for his ongoing volunteer work and his commitment to AIDS Walk Philly.         

For more information, or to get tickets for Black Tie Gay BINGO, go to  AidsFundPhilly.org

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