Michael Kors replaces Debra Messing for CAN Community Health gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Michael Kors, photo via CAN Community Health.

SARASOTA | Fashion designer Michael Kors will headline CAN Community Health’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala Feb. 22, replacing original headliner Debra Messing.

Messing, who was announced as the gala’s headliner Oct. 7, is best known for her role on NBC’s “Will & Grace.” CAN Community Health shared she would be unable to attend via video message Feb. 17 after the actress suffered an injury.

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Trump’s budget seeks increased HIV funds — but housing, global programs cut

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: President Donald Trump’s budget seeks $716 million in FY-21 to beat HIV/AIDS. (Screen capture via YouTube)

With a declared goal of beating HIV/AIDS in the United States by 2030, President Trump this week in his $4.8 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2021 proposed major increases in HIV/AIDS funds, but global programs and social services used by low-income people with the disease face steep cuts.

At first glance, the proposed request Trump unveiled Feb. 10 is a major victory for advocates hoping he’d make good on his stated vision to beat HIV/AIDS by 2030, which he renewed in his State of the Union address last week.

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Trump renews pledge in State of the Union to beat HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Above: 2019 State of the Union (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In a speech touting economic growth and promising “the best has yet to come,” President Trump in the State of the Union address Feb.3 renewed his pledge to beat HIV by 2030.

Trump made a call to beat HIV/AIDS to cheers from lawmakers in the joint session of Congress during a portion of speech dedicated to health initiatives under his administration.

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Congress agrees to boost in funds for Trump’s HIV plan — and then some

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: President Donald Trump requested an additional $300 million in funds to fight HIV/AIDS. (Screen capture via YouTube)

In a positive move in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the spending package Congress unveiled this week more-or-less meets President Trump’s request for an additional $300 million for his plan on the domestic front, but also rejects his proposed cuts for research and global programs.

House and Senate appropriators announced a bipartisan agreement Dec. 17 to keep the government in operation for fiscal year 2020. The deal was reached days before a government shutdown would occur without additional funds and with limited time before Congress is set to adjourn for the holidays.

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Free PrEP program unveiled under Trump’s HIV initiative

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In the same week World AIDS Day was recognized, the Trump administration has unveiled a new program to provide free PrEP as part of the initiative to beat the epidemic by 2030.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar announced the plan, known as “Ready, Set, PrEP,” in a conference call Tuesday with reporters, calling the initiative “a major step forward in the president’s plan to end the HIV epidemic in America.”

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11.27.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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My husband and I recently marked three years of marriage, which is as strange to type as it was to celebrate. Not because I didn’t think we’d make it, I looked forward to our decades to come long before our wedding day, but because I’ve lost my perception of time.

A number of factors have contributed to my inability to understand the calendar year, Tampa Bay Bureau Chief among them operating in Watermark’s two-week press cycle, but I mostly attribute it to living in Florida. Even though I moved here more than a decade ago, I have yet to adjust to the lack of proper seasons; time flies when you’re having sun.

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Elton John coming back to Florida in 2020 and tickets are now on sale

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Elton John performing at his first Orlando stop of the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour in March 2019. (Photo by Scott Kerill)

After iconic performances at Orlando’s Amway Center in March and Tampa’s Amalie Arena earlier this month, Sir Elton John is coming back to Florida with more concerts in May 2020, and tickets are available as of today. The 72-year-old legend announced Nov. 13 an additional 24 dates to his sold-out “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. The additional dates include stops in both Orlando and Tampa.

These new dates will close out the second year of the North American leg of John’s three-year world tour, which he says will be his final tour ever.

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AIDS Quilt moving to San Francisco

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco will become the new custodian of the AIDS Quilt. Photo courtesy NAMES Project.

The Atlanta-based Names Project Foundation, which has served as the custodian of the massive AIDS Memorial Quilt since 1987, is turning over that task to the San Francisco-based National AIDS Memorial, officials with both organizations announced at a Washington ceremony on Wednesday.

The officials, who were joined by U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, also announced that the two organizations have agreed to donate the “care and stewardship” of the Quilt’s large archival collection of artifacts and documents to the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center in Washington.

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D.C. AIDS Walk & Run to End HIV draws nearly 3,000

By : Lou Chibbaro, Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Whitman-Walker Health’s 2019 annual Walk & 5K Run to End HIV was held Saturday. Washington Blade photo by Zach Brien.

Families with kids and pet dogs joined longtime LGBT and AIDS activists and scores of other D.C.-area residents on Saturday, Oct. 26, for Whitman-Walker Health’s 2019 annual Walk & 5K Run to End HIV.

Whitman-Walker spokesperson Abby Fenton said more than 2,800 people turned out for the event and organizers were hopeful that it would reach its goal of raising $650,000 to continue Whitman-Walker’s operations as the city’s largest non-government provider of care for people with HIV.

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Debra Messing to headline CAN Community Health fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Debra Messing will headline CAN Community Health’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala. Photo courtesy CAN’s Facebook page.

SARASOTA | CAN Community Health announced Oct. 7 that LGBTQ ally, actress and activist Debra Messing will headline the organization’s second annual Red Ribbon Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on Feb. 22, 2020.

Messing is best known for her award-winning role on “Will & Grace,” NBC’s groundbreaking LGBTQ television series.  Its revival will end in 2020 with a third season, its eleventh overall.

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2020 hopefuls highlight Medicare for All, PrEP in plans to combat HIV/AIDS

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE, L-R: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, Ind.) Washington Blade file photos by Michael Key.

The reinvigoration of the White House Office of HIV/AIDS, access to generic PrEP and the award of cash gifts for HIV/AIDS innovations as opposed to U.S. patents were just three ideas 2020 hopefuls articulated in responses to a survey conducted by HIV/AIDS advocacy groups.

The candidates expressed those ideas in a survey conducted by AIDS United, which composed its questions in conjunction with a coalition of HIV/AIDS groups and made the responses public Monday.

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Gay ‘Elm Street’ actor takes charge of his narrative in new doc

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mark Patton in ‘Scream, Queen.’ (Photo courtesy The End Productions)

When Mark Patton landed his first leading role in a major motion picture, he believed his dream of becoming a movie star was coming true.

That motion picture was 1985’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” and instead of being launched, his career was destroyed.

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