The relaxing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions across the country in late winter—thanks to a decline in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths—allowed several HIV/AIDS service and research organizations to return to the business of raising funds and awareness and delivering services in person. And with International Women’s Day, the International Transgender Day of Visibility and multiple high-profile galas all taking place in March, the timing couldn’t have been better for folks to get back out and about.
There’s no telling how long this respite from the worst of the pandemic will last, but one thing is certain: The always-resilient HIV community will face head-on whatever future challenges come its way. But for now, it’s great to be able to celebrate, commemorate, serve, support and protest (and sometimes just show up) for one another in the flesh.
1. Billy Porter, Eric McCormack, David Furnish and Lady Gaga cohosted the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party, which raised $8.6 million. (The Rocket Man himself joined via satellite from his tour.)
2. Director Leo Rocha, Pedro Zamora’s sister Mily Zamora and codirector Bill Horner attended a Miami Film Festival screening of the documentary Keep the Cameras Rolling: The Pedro Zamora Way, a chronicle of the life and activism of the Real World star, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1994 and would have turned 50 this year.
3. In honor of Social Work Month, observed every March, the social workers and case managers of AIDS Alabama showed their community what an HIV advocate looks like.
4., 5. Housing Works advocates headed to Albany to urge New York Governor Kathy Hochul to provide statewide rental assistance for people with HIV and AIDS. Data show that stable housing is key to staying undetectable.
6., 7. Keith Richards (left, center) and Melissa Etheridge (right) were just a couple of the rockers who showed their support for God’s Love We Deliver at the nonprofit’s benefit concert Love Rocks NYC at the Beacon Theatre.
8. The TransLatin@ Coalition, the largest trans-led nonprofit in LA, partnered with Keck Medicine of USC to streamline the development and delivery of specialized, affirming health care for trans, gender-nonconforming and intersex people.
9. San Diego’s HIV Funding Collaborative, a project of the Human Dignity Foundation, awarded Christie’s Place $10,000, which the nonprofit will use to grow its Coordinated Support Center and continue to boost the resilience of women, children and families affected by HIV.
10. The Aliveness MN Project received a $10,000 gift from the WAC Foundation, which will help support the organization’s HIV/AIDS services as well as Tea Time, its new peer-led safe space for trans women and trans femme folks.
11., 12. Jay Ellis, star of HBO’s Insecure, was one of the many celebs who attended amfAR’s, Palm Beach, Florida, gala fundraiser honoring Tommy Hilfiger. Meanwhile, Christina Aguilera serenaded guests at the event with three of her hits, including “Fighter.”
13. The women of Iris House, along with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, commemorated International Women’s Day, observed each year on March 8, by honoring the women who have dedicated their lives to fighting HIV/AIDS.