On September 15, 2012, I will be biking the length of Cape Cod, from Sagamore to Provincetown, on the Harbor to the Bay AIDS Ride.
For a gay man who came of age in the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic has been the scourge of my generation. But when I taught a course on the history of HIV/AIDS in 2008, one student complained that I spent too much time talking about AIDS in America. While for them, the disease was clearly somewhere else far away, for me, and for so many of my loved ones, it is right here – in Boston, in New England, and in the United States, in our families, our communities, and some of our bodies.
I have written and taught about HIV/AIDS for many years, but now is the time to do something new. With the Harbor to Bay ride, I am embracing the most demanding physical challenge of my life. This is more than a little scary, but few things truly worth doing come without pushing yourself beyond what you thought you could do. This is most definitely one of those things.
100% of the money I raise will go to support the work of Community Research Initiative, a dynamic force in HIV clinical research for more than twenty years. With its mission to making HIV medications safer, simpler to take, more effective, and available to all who need them, CRI research data has been critical for FDA approval of almost all HIV drugs currently available.
Based in Boston, CRI works with researchers across the U.S. and around the world to improve the quality of and access to HIV treatment. These collaborations bring cutting-edge HIV research to as many people as possible while providing new information for CRI researchers to advance their studies.
Locally, CRI administers the Massachusetts HIV Drug Assistance Program, ensuring that more than 7000 HIV+ individuals across the state have urgently needed medications and health insurance. CRI is particularly dedicated to providing treatment information to historically underserved populations, including women and people of color. By sponsoring me, you support this essential work.
Over the months to come, I’ll be using this page and other social media with regular updates on my training, on why I’m doing this, and on the difference you make by sponsoring me. I hope you’ll join me on the road ahead!