Saturday, 33rd Seattle AIDS Walk will move back onto the streets of Capitol Hill

After a smaller edition in 2018 that wound its way through Volunteer Park, the Seattle AIDS Walk and Run returns to the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday.

The 33rd year of the fundraiser for nonprofit Lifelong begins as always in Volunteer Park Saturday morning. You can still register, donate, and learn more at give.lifelong.org.

In 2016 as the walk reached its 30th anniversary, CHS reported on Lifelong’s transition over the years from the fight to provide comfort to the fight for health and a cure. The event has humble roots. The legend goes that during the first year’s walk, a can was passed around for donations. $42 was collected. Continue reading

Art plan taking shape for AIDS Memorial Pathway that will connect Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park

A lead artist has been selected and the “master art plan” for the project has been created. March brings opportunities for some early looks at the vision for the AIDS Memorial Pathway project connecting Capitol Hill Station development to Cal Anderson Park.

“Destined to become one of the most significant public art installations in the region, the AMP will use public art to create a physical place for remembrance and reflection; utilize technology to share stories about the epidemic and the diverse community responses to the crisis; and provide a call to action to end HIV/AIDS, stigma, and discrimination,” organizers from the Atlas Obscura Society Seattle write about the coming pathway and a tour they are planning to preview the site with project manager Jason Plourde.

Making A Memorial

Last August, CHS reported on the selection of social practice artist Horatio Hung-Yan Law to lead the project’s artistic vision. ” I create work for regular people that examines issues of identity, memory, history and the meaning of community. As a public artist who is interested in socially engaged work, I value collaboration and partnership with community members through collecting ideas, cultural materials, and engaging residents in planning and production of public art,” Law said at the time. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Smaller Seattle AIDS Walk circles Volunteer Park

The new, smaller, more “intimate” Seattle AIDS Walk circled Volunteer Park and stayed off city streets Saturday with a charity walk and picnic to raise funds to help those living with HIV and AIDS. CHS stopped by to see the walk and to watch for those who stepped up enough to earn “Queen” crowns by raising $1,000 or more in pledges. Saturday’s walk was the 32nd year for the fundraiser benefitting Lifelong that typically raises more than $200,000 for the nonprofit. You can still give here if you would like to help.

More pictures from the 2018 Seattle AIDS Walk, below. Continue reading

Volunteer Park hosts 2018 Seattle AIDS Walk Saturday

The Seattle AIDS Walk will circle Capitol Hill again marking the 32nd year of the important fundraiser.

Annually drawing thousands of participants, the event is now focused on walkers and pledges — and lunch. Organizers are promising “the biggest picnic our city has ever seen” at the start/finish line in Volunteer Park. Continue reading

Memorial Pathway will honor fight against HIV/AIDS, connect Cal Anderson to Capitol Hill Station

This mural of Cal Anderson was part of the park in 2012 on the “Big Red Wall” surrounding Capitol Hill Station construction (Image: CHS)

The search has begun for artists to create the AIDS Memorial Pathway, a Seattle AIDS memorial planned for Cal Anderson Park and the plaza at the heart of the development set to arise around Capitol Hill Station.

Artists have until the end of May to submit their proposals for the project “honoring the impact of the AIDS epidemic on Seattle and King County” — Continue reading

Planning for Seattle AIDS Memorial begins at center of Capitol Hill Station plaza

The Capitol Hill Station plaza is set to be a new center of activity on the north end of Cal Anderson Park. Its center will include a memorial to those lost to the AIDS crisis — including park namesake Cal Anderson, Washington’s first openly gay legislator who died of “acquired immune deficiency syndrome” in 1995 at the age of 47.

The Seattle AIDS Legacy Memorial group is working to fund and create the monument.

“We’re thrilled to be able to connect the history of the neighborhood to be centrally located where all Seattleites tend to come,” said Paul Feldman of SALM. “We’re hopeful, through careful planning and careful engagement, that we’ll hear stories we’ve never heard before and we’ll make clear to visitors that there’s still much work to do.”

Most of the details will be decided in the months ahead as the plaza and the surrounding developments move forward toward a possible late 2019 opening, but the SALM group will call for artists in the coming months. Finalists will be asked to offer specific design proposals fitting the following requirements: create a place of reflection and remembrance, provide a call to action, tell the history of King County’s AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 90s, the lessons that came with it, and the diverse community responses.

Artists must also make the installation prominent, visible to passersby, mostly outside, accessible to convenient public transportation, easily maintained, accessible to the disabled, wifi-abled and powered. One important consideration when choosing the artist is that, although the plan spans three spots joining the plaza, the Nagle and Denny festival streets and the northern edge of Cal Anderson, it’s clearly one project. During the design review process, some community members suggested plaques honoring those who died including Anderson.

While Cal Anderson Park honors the late politician by name, there is no permanent marker in the area acknowledging his history. In 2012, a temporary portrait of Anderson was unveiled on the giant wall that surrounded the Capitol Hill Station construction site.

The plaza — by necessity due to legal requirements and the physics of construction over an underground light rail facility — is somewhat of a blank slate planned for community activity. The four buildings that make up the surrounding developments will create more than 400 affordable and market-rate apartment units and 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and more than 200 new parking spaces below ground for residents and shoppers. Continue reading

‘Dress code’ opens up as the Seattle Red Dress Party comes to Capitol Hill

(Image: seattlereddress.org)

(Image: seattlereddress.org)

This year, for the first time, the Seattle Red Dress Party is being held on Capitol Hill. Seattle PrideFest is putting on the event in the Century Ballroom at 10th Ave and E Pine on March 31st.

“Especially with the massive development on Capitol Hill, I think queer people are feeling at times a little without a home,” Egan Orion, festival director for PrideFest told CHS. “Anything that we can do … to help them reassert their traditional home … that is part of our mission.”

Attendees of the Red Dress Party have worn red dresses, of course, but this year organizers have loosened the, um, dress code a bit. Orion said attendees are still encouraged to keep the tradition, especially cisgender men, but other fancy red attire (e.g. a suit) is allowed and welcomed. It is not meant to be a costume party Orion said, and red is the color of choice as it’s the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness. Continue reading

In fight against HIV, First Hill pharmacy reports success with simplified PrEP

(Image: The Polyclinic)

(Image: The Polyclinic)

The 27th year marking World AIDS Day comes with news from Madison St. of a new streamlined process for making a breakthrough measure in the fight against HIV more accessible. It’s an efficiency that could save lives.

First Hill-headquartered Kelley-Ross Pharmacy announced this week that its streamlined HIV prevention program to provide patients with PrEP — pre-exposure prophylaxis — completed a successful pilot earlier this year:

One-Step PrEP is unique because it takes a two or three-week waiting process and condenses it to 45 minutes. Instead of making an appointment with a primary care physician, who may or may not be familiar with PrEP, waiting for labs, and navigating alone the complexity of insurance and/or state-funded medical coverage, patients come to the pharmacy and have a detailed conversation with a trained pharmacist about their risk factors and side effects, while lab results are processed and payment methods are researched.

Kelley-Ross will present findings from the pilot at next week’s CDC National HIV Prevention Symposium.

Starting in 2012, PrEP has proven to be extremely effective in preventing HIV transmission. PrEP is a prevention method for people who don’t have HIV that has involved taking a daily pill to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the virus. New research indicates that the Truvada medication could also be taken “on demand” — before and after sex — and still be effective.

Meanwhile, PrEP remains expensive — around $13,000 a year — but most insurance covers the medicine as do drug assistance and compassionate care programs in the state.

You can learn more about Kelley-Ross at krrph.com.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about how to get involved with local nonprofits fighting AIDS and HIV here: 2015 donation drives, feed the hungry, and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill

29th annual End AIDS Walk circles Volunteer Park as Seattle makes progress against HIV

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

An estimated 2,000 walkers and runners raised thousands of dollars at the End AIDS Walk Saturday at Volunteer Park.

The annual fundraiser benefits Capitol Hill-based Lifelong which continues to provide services and support while working to reduce new HIV infections.

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Of the more than 7,000 people living with HIV in King County, around 2,300 are not virally suppressed — but the Seattle area has made good progress. King County has the highest documented rate of viral suppression of any urban area in the United States, according to Frank Chaffee, manager of the HIV/STD Program for the county.

Chaffee said it is estimated that among people infected with HIV in King County, about 8% are unaware of that they are infected.

More than 100 teams registered for this year’s event as speakers including Mayor Ed Murray and the warm-up crew including the Quake rugby team helped participants on their way along the route that circled Volunteer Park and parts of 12th Ave and Broadway.

For more information or to give, visit endaidswalk.org.

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The Sisters’ World AIDS Day All-Day Vigil

Join the Sisters of The Abbey of St. Joan and friends in a day-long vigil to commemorate World AIDS Day. We will be creating memorial space in the Calamus Auditorium at Gay City Health Project that will feature a living ancestral altar (see below for more information), a memorial wall, candle dedications, a musical history of HIV, and more.

We’ll be there all day, so come for as short or as long as you’d like. Help us to remember those who came before us, and to remind ourselves of the shared responsibility we have for the future.

The Sisters’ Annual Walking Wake will begin at the Vigil. Look for more information to come.

LIVING ALTAR: HONORING THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US

A living altar is an effective and beautiful way for a group of people to make a connection with those who have passed away, to remember them, learn from them, to look again upon them with love and thereby strengthen ourselves for the work before us we’ve yet to do in this world.

By setting our living altar, we will honor with a touch of whimsy those in the community who have passed, who have come before us, who have shaped our lives individually or collectively, who in some way have affected and were affected by the HIV epidemic.

Every person who visits the altar may bring something to place on the altar in memory of someone, so that it grows and changes with each person’s visit as a living portrait, a shifting snapshot of our spiritual ancestry, a communal vision of a past we all share in, but have yet to truly see.

WHAT YOU MAY BRING TO PLACE ON THE ALTAR

Anything. Yes, anything.

If it holds meaning for you or represents to you the person who has passed away, it is an appropriate object. Pictures or photos, (even photocopies of photos) are wonderful, direct ways to remember and honor the dead. Choose pictures that have meaning for you – and if the photos happen to have the living in them as well as the dead, that’s okay. All photos will be looked after, no ancestor will be lost or unattended.

You may also use an item that may have been the person’s or something that they liked– a piece of jewelry, a dish, their favorite book, a stuffed animal, their favorite food, their favorite beverage, art they made, favorite clothing, something with their favorite colors, glitter, cigarettes, candies, makeup, poetry, toys, dolls, money, letters, love notes, flowers, beads, statues, stones, candles, fabrics, symbols.

Listen to your inner voice. You will know what to bring.

Also, bear in mind that you can honor anyone you like at this living altar. If you have a deceased pet, go ahead and include them. Someone doesn’t have to be a blood relative or even human to be part of our connected spiritual ancestry. It may even be someone you have never met, such as the ancestors of the land where we live, but who we want or need claim as family nonetheless.