A&U’s 13th Annual Holiday Gift Guide
The fast track. At one time, AIDS advocates and activists pushed the FDA to accelerate the research and development of anti-HIV medications. The pharma cupboard was empty, except for AZT and whatever slowed or halted the progress of opportunistic infections. The government response to the AIDS crisis was one of indifference, offering crumbs when it should have been offering substantial treatment, substantial prevention education, and substantial compassion. Finally, in the late eighties and thanks to the efforts of ACT UP protests and others, we won the day with the creation of fast-track approval—drug candidates could be guided through their phases at a pace that matched the urgent need for something that would save lives.
Now fast-tracking of a different kind has been assigned to a new AIDS-related cause—the speeding up of HIV prevention and treatment program delivery, as proposed by UNAIDS in a side event at the 69th United Nations General Assembly in September.
It’s a people-centered, zero-discrimination approach with a clear goal: ending the AIDS epidemic. The year 2020 is the target for 90-90-90 (ninety percent of those living with HIV to know their status plus ninety percent on HIV treatment will equal ninety percent with undetectable viral loads). By 2030, UNAIDS hopes to achieve ninety-five percent across the board: 95-95-95.
A fast-track strategy to step up the roll out of lifesaving meds and prevention services is needed, particularly for those countries with high burdens of HIV and those people at highest risk of contracting HIV. This is the task at hand during the five years leading up to 2020, with UNAIDS emphasizing that now rather than later is a matter of life and death for millions.
Non-profit organizations—like God’s Love We Deliver, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Until There’s A Cure, and (RED) partners like Moleskine, featured here in A&U’s thirteenth annual Holiday Gift Guide—are also seeking to close the gap and heed the deadline. To do so, they and others need ongoing support, donations big and small to sustain and innovate treatment access, prevention education, and supportive services. Won’t you join us in the fast track?
God’s Love We Deliver
God’s Love We Deliver offers wonderful gift ideas—too numerous to detail here—for any season of the year. Your support helps this New York City-based non-profit organization to provide home-delivered, diet-tailored meals and other nutritional services to tri-state residents living with HIV/AIDS and other life-altering illnesses. Here’s a small sample of what’s inside its Gifts from the Heart catalogue.
From the Joan Rivers Classics Collection, two Joan Rivers “A Special Message” Bracelets will keep you linked to your cause, and, of course, they make a fashion statement that needs no policing. With a choice of two inspirational messages spelled out in linked letters, “Do It Now!” and “I Love You,” each bracelet lets you combine style with substance. God’s Love We Deliver recently named its new bakery in honor of Rivers, a longtime supporter and board member of God’s Love We Deliver until her recent passing. Tell Me More: The linked-letter goldtone bracelet sports a foldover clasp, measures approximately 7-1/4 (l) by 1/2 (w) inches, and comes with a box and romance card. How Much: $45.
Eat them now or freeze them up to three months—however your loved ones choose to enjoy Chuck’s Famous Brownies, the deliciousness will be the same. Homemade by “Chuck the Baker,” who for over twenty years has fired up inspired desserts for clients, the brownies are best enjoyed upon delivery as they contain no preservatives. How Much: $19 (box of four); $28 (eight); $40 (twelve); and $75 (24).
For those looking for unique holiday cards, check out these styles and more: the Penguin and Central Park boxed sets come with twelve cards (five by seven inches), each with the inside message: “Wishing you Peace and Joy this Holiday Season.” How Much: $25.