IMG_8626As a San Francisco native, I grew up in the era in which HIV/AIDS was considered to be a death sentence.  Today we have learned that with proper education and access to medical resources, HIV/AIDS can be managed and prevented. However, HIV/AIDS is not a thing of the past and there is still so much work to be done before we see the end of the disease. In California alone there are over 151,000 people living with HIV. Nationally, 70 percent of all new infections are occurring in communities of color, and people under the age of 25 are increasingly affected.  Many are not using protection or are not engaging in the safest sexual practices.

Over the years, I have become involved with organizations and programs that share a common mission to fight the disease. In 2009 I participated in the CDC’s national campaign “Testing Makes Us Stronger”.  The focus of this campaign is to educate young gay and bisexual men in U.S. cities that are heavily affected by HIV. I had a great time posing for photographs and acting in my very first commercial to teach younger generations about the simple fact that “your HIV test results expire every time you have unprotected sex”.

I have also participated in AIDS/ LifeCycle (ALC), 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles for participating cyclists that have raised $3,000 or more to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have a saying in the ALC family. Once you have been on the ride you enter the “Love Bubble”. You get hooked the unique feeling of love and community. 2014 was to be my 3rd year riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle. These experiences make me feel like someone who makes a difference.  I see many young men who have been or may be affected by the disease and I want to save them. You can help me do that.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to make it to ALC this year due to some challenges.  My goal is to raise $3,000 by June 1st 2014, as a “virtual cyclist”. This year I am pleased to have reached about one thousand dollars. Will you be my hero and help me achieve this humble goal? Your donation will also me to support local programs, like Magnet. Magnet is a place where gay men connect. In addition to their clinical services, Magnet is an art gallery and lounge. Many of my friends have exhibited their amazing works of art. A program of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Magnet is unique in their approach to total health.  Through education, advocacy, and free local services for prevention and care through organizations like Magnet, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to confront HIV in neighborhoods most impacted by the disease.

Donate before June 1st 2014 online here to help!