Posts Tagged ‘AIDS HIV epidemic’

AIDS Donations

Posted in Community, Information on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by admin - 2 Comments

AIDS Donations

Where do you think a great deal of the money that supports HIV/AIDS services comes from?  The truth is, the American government did not provide appropriate funding for research and treatment until well into the pandemic.  For this reason, care providers had to first depend on AIDS donations from private citizens to care for people with AIDS.   Historically, since it was the Gay community that so strongly felt the first wave of the AIDS HIV epidemic in the United States, the original AIDS Service Organizations grew out of the GLBTQ population.  Although it may be hard to believe in 2010, in the early 1980s, there was a great prejudice and fear and directed towards Americans diagnosed with AIDS.  AIDS activists urged changes, and helped create organizations to provide information on safer sex as well as the promotion of compassion to those infected with the virus.

One of the first significant organizations to encourage individuals to make donations AIDS related was the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence began in San Francisco, but now have related chapters around the world.  Their instantly recognizable “nun drag” provided them easy publicity and access to bars, churches and synagogues where they conduct fund-raisers, and most Gay related events.

While some have criticized their unusual attire as disrespectful to Catholic nuns, the Seattle based Abbey of St. Joan has officially responded: We are often asked, “Why are you mocking nuns?” Well, we ARE nuns, silly! We recognize what “women of the cloth” have done over the centuries. They raise money for the needy, we raise money for the needy. They tend to the sick, we tend to the sick. They build their communities, we build our community. They have taken vows of celibacy, we… we have raised money for the needy. We are nuns for the 21st Century!

image courtesy of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and many other organizations, have raised millions of dollars in AIDS donations.

image courtesy of Broadway  Bares

Another famous group is Broadway Bares.  This organization sponsors an annual fund-raising event for donation AIDS, starring performers from New York City’s Broadway and the theater community.  These two groups demonstrate how, even under the awful tragedy of the early AIDS HIV epidemic, caring individuals were able to respond with compassion and creativity

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