Thank you for coming here to support the 2017 AIDSLifecycle!
Life comes full circle...
After a 24 year hiatus, I am volunteering once again to provide medical support for a ride to benefit those living with HIV/AIDS. The first ride I supported, a one day event in San Francsico and a forerunner of the AIDSLifecycle, was in 1993. It changed my life.
I was a resident in Emergency Medicine, HIV+ for 2 years, completely closeted about my status and fully untreated. My patients were dying of AIDS and not a single person in my life knew about my status. I was as much in denial about the possibility of my own death as I was in fear of losing everything I had worked for due to the stigma surrounding health care providers living with HIV/AIDS. Public hysteria had driven many HIV+ physicians from practice. I was alone, afraid and had little hope for the future.
I experienced painfully mixed emotions that day, yet there I was - smiling as best I could, handing out sunscreen and bandaids, and checking out the scrapes, strains and sprains of the riders, many of whom were openly HIV+. Thanks to their spirit and the spirit of the event - to raise awareness and eliminate stigma - the seeds of hope were planted. Soon afterward I mustered the courage to reach out for help, start treatment, assure myself that my status did not put patients at risk and get on with my life and my career with a renewed sense of hope.
For that ride, that day 23 years ago, I am forever grateful. And for this ride, this year, I am equally grateful to be of service.
Isolation, fear and stigma remain real for many with HIV/AIDS. And many rely on the services provided by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center - both places of hope, healing and personal empowerment. Please support these outstanding institutions, the countless people they serve and my efforts on their behalf by donating generously, using the "Donate Now" link above.
Blessings to you! And Thank You!!
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