Around ASF Blog
Volume 1 / Entry 22
August 30, 2012

Hello friends,

Well, once again I’ve been on hiatus from writing my weekly blog for several weeks. It got quite busy for me around ASF and this is unfortunately one of the things that had to be put on the back burner. So, let’s get started!

I recently watched the film The Help again. One of the lines in the film that has gotten me both times I’ve seen it is when Skeeter’s mother says something like, “Sometimes courage skips a generation.”

I was reminded of that line again, and courage in particular, this week when I began setting up video interviews for two of our clients. They have agreed to tell their personal stories of HIV/AIDS and their experiences with ASF for a video piece we are producing for our annual gala. It took a lot of courage for Skeeter to tell the maids’ stories in The Help, but think of how much courage it took for the maids to speak with her.

The stigma of HIV is still prevalent in our society. Many people infected with HIV keep it to themselves in order to avoid any possibility of a negative reaction from friends and loved ones. The reasons for the silence vary. The virus is transmitted through sexual contact and many people are uncomfortable discussing sex. Infection is preventable by ordinary means so when the virus is contracted there is a sense in society that you reaped what you sowed. To this day, AIDS is still commonly thought of as a gay disease. That’s a double stigma brewing…HIV and homosexuality. Sarcastically, I admit that’s a “terrible awful” if I ever heard one!

I tell our clients’ stories all the time, trying to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS, but seeing clients volunteer to tell their stories personally affects me more than any line in any movie ever could.

So, I truly appreciate the courage it takes for these two men to speak with us on video and share their stories of hope with our donors. Through them, we will be able to show our donors the work their contributions fund. We will also be able to show them the need for continued support. HIV and AIDS are not on the wane. New infections continue. Until we stop those new infections through prevention and education efforts, there will always be HIV and AIDS.

We are working toward an AIDS-free generation. With state funding for HIV prevention and education programs all but gone and federal Ryan White funding vulnerable to a possible new administration in the fall, we will only get there with the help of private individuals and corporations who recognize the need for our work and feel compassionate enough to help those in their community who are suffering.

If you’d like more information on ASF’s Annual Gala – A Night in South Beach, please click here. If you would like to personally fund one, two or even ten HIV tests, donations are accepted here. Thank you for your support. And…

Thanks for reading!

Marc Montminy
Director of Communications and Public Relations


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