AIDS Project Rhode Island to kick off 35th year with gala

PROVIDENCE – In celebration of its 35th anniversary in 2020, the AIDS Project Rhode Island will host a number of events throughout the year.

A gala cocktail party next month kicks off a series of fundraising and community events. Scheduled for Feb. 20 at the Providence G on Dorrance Street, the party will feature HIV activist and Rhode Island native Bruce Richman, the founding executive director of the Prevention Access Campaign. Richman also launched the Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign, a global effort to fight HIV stigma.

Community award presentations and a silent auction are also planned at the party, along with appearances by people involved with the creation of the AIDS Project Rhode Island 35 years ago.

Other events scheduled for this year include the annual AIDS Run/Walk for Life on June 6 in Roger Williams Park in Providence, a screening of the documentary “Paris is Burning” at the Columbus Theatre in Providence on Sept. 18 and a World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1.

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AIDS Project Rhode Island was formed in 1985 by a group of men who wanted to create a committee on AIDS in the state. Known as the Project, it offered a hotline, speaker’s bureau and a buddy program for communities living with and impacted by AIDS. The group merged with Family Service of Rhode Island in 2008.

“The history of HIV and AIDS is one that is sad in many ways because of the generations of people we have lost, but it is also a remarkable lesson in advocacy, activism, care and compassion,” said APRI Director Mikel Wadewitz. “We have made huge strides in the fight against HIV in these last 35 years and we can dramatically reduce the number of HIV-related deaths thanks to these advances.”

Tickets for February’s party are available at www.aidsprojectri.org/celebrate.

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