The following was released by Beautiful Gate Outreach Center earlier today. I’m on the Board at Beautiful Gate. HIV/AIDS now primarily hits low income women, and in Delaware, that means African-American women. Solving this problem is not quite as “hip” as AIDS was when Hollywood took it on as a “cause celebre”, which means that we need your help even more, today…
Thirty years ago yesterday, on June 5, 1981, the first cases of what would become known as AIDS were reported. The disease that was centered in San Francisco but was first detected in Los Angeles. By October, five months after the first cases were reported, the Centers for Disease Control declared the new disease an epidemic. A year later, the CDC gave the disease a new name — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
In the past 30 years, 25 million people have died due to AIDS-related illnesses. Right now, more than 33 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. More than two-thirds of the current cases are in Africa where the epidemic rages out of control despite prevention efforts. Here is Delaware; we have 3600 cases of individuals living with HIV/AIDS (which equates to 1 out of 248 Delawareans living with HIV).
Our work began here at 604 North Walnut Street on September 10, 1994 and continues today as we provide free HIV prevention, testing and outreach services. I am proud of the work that we have accomplished but realize that we still have a long way to go despite our advances in medications, research and advocacy; people are still testing HIV+.
We are asking, as we enter into the third decade of this disease, if you can “give a little bit more” of your time, your talents, your resources to help Beautiful Gate address this epidemic more aggressively. We still have so much work to do! I look forward to having you share your thoughts with me. Tell your families and friends about the work that we do and the difference we are making with testing, medical care and other services ( http://www.bgate.org). You (as well as your friends and family) can also support the Beautiful Gate Outreach Center by becoming a “Beautiful Gate Angel”
- Planned Giving- include the Beautiful Gate Outreach Center in your estate planning
- Memorials/Honors-make a donation in honor or in memory of a friend or family member
- United Way- select Beautiful Gate (write-in #9603) as your United Way pledge recipient
- Event Sponsorship-let us advertise your business or organization at our many community events
- Food Closet Donations- donate non-perishable food items that will be distributed to those living with HIV/AIDS
- Wish List Angel- donate specific in-need items or organize a collection from workplace, friends or friends
- Beautiful Gate Christmas Angel-join the annual Christmas gift campaign for those living with HIV/AIDS
For more information on either of the ways listed, please call me in the office 547-1526.