Every Birthday Candle Wish. Every Coin in a Fountain.

Today is the 23rd anniversary of the first World AIDS Day.  AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide between 1981 and 2007.  Nearly 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. and one in five of those are unaware of their infections.  Knowing is everything, make an HIV test part of your routine physical.

It is not a gay disease, it is not an African disease, it is not a junkie disease, it is not a disease that is given to people who behave badly or have unacceptable lifestyles, and it is not God’s punishment. It does not discriminate, it just kills. Some of the most influential people in my life are HIV positive, or I should say most of the most influential people in my life are HIV positive.

I have been donating my time, money, and my gently-used items to Lifelong AIDS Alliance for years and many of you have joined me as I host a Dining Out event in the Spring.  Lifelong Aids Alliance does great work for people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses.

Here is a link to their donation page:  http://llaa.org/donatenow

$54 – Provides one week of fresh meals and groceries for a person living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses.

Visit the Digital AIDS Quilt and create your own panel:  http://www.2015quilt.com/

While you are there, make a pledge to do what you can to help.

I am who I am today because of the amazingly talented, fiercely devoted, and ridiculously hilarious guys that have influenced me to be fearless, to love unapologetically, and to be true to what is important to me.  Every birthday candle I blow out, every coin I throw into a fountain, every time I am required to make a wish, I wish for their health and a cure to be found.

I miss Anthony Perkins, Pedro Zamora, Freddie Mercury, Alvin Ailey, Rudolf Nureyev, Halston, Keith Haring, Herb Ritts, Isaac Asimov, Randy Shilts, and many more.

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