HIV Equal Is Headed Back to Los Angeles to Test, Photo and Fight the Stigma
HIV Equal is returning to California to help local communities break down the barriers of stigma against testing for HIV. On Sunday, February 8, 2015 HIV Equal will work with the local house and ball community to host a one-of-its-kind “Test Your Might – Mortal Combat Ball,” which will take place at REACH LA Dance Studio (1400 E. Olympic Blvd., Suite 240, Los Angeles, CA 90021), where doors open at 6 p.m.
The popular testing and anti-stigma campaign will, for the first time ever, host an event alongside a House and Ball competition. The “Test Your Might – Mortal Combat Ball” will be held on Sunday, February 8, 2015 in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which will be celebrated just the day before. The event will be powered by REACH LA, which will also be conducting free, confidential HIV testing beginning January 31, 2015 and every day leading up to the event.
“It’s always an amazing opportunity for us to work with so many diverse communities across the U.S. as we aim to end the stigma against HIV testing and people living with the virus. The house and ball community in Los Angeles has welcomed us with doors wide open, and we’re happy to help people in this community get tested and to know their status,” said Dr. Gary Blick, Chief Medical Officer of World Health Clinicians and co-creator of HIV Equal. “We’re excited to be returning to California time and again to broaden our reach and to get people the care they need to protect themselves and their communities from the spread of HIV.”
HIV testing and the Ball will both be hosted at the REACH LA Dance Studio with doors opening on February 8th at 6 p.m. and the Ball beginning at 7 p.m. DJ BJ will provide music while Jamari serves as commentator for the event. The LA LGBT Center will also be in attendance to show its support, and AltaMed will conduct HIV testing at the event. There will be $600 in prizes awarded with a trophy for each of the four category winners for Vogue, Realness, Runway and Sex Siren.
“This upcoming weekend in February is going to be a series of firsts for HIV Equal,” said Thomas Evans, Photographer/Co-creator of HIV Equal. “We’ll be anticipating all new experiences as we host our first-ever event in a retail location in Palm Springs and then at a Ball in Los Angeles! Doing an event in the house and ball community will help us reach young black and Latino MSM, so we are really excited to see where this takes us. I think it’s going to be a fierce time and an amazing way to help break down stigma.”
Each contestant is expected to wear black and pink and must participate in the HIV Equal campaign in order to compete. Free chances at raffle prizes and free admission will be granted to all HIV Equal participants.
The HIV Equal “Test Your Might – Mortal Combat Ball” Los Angeles event will take place on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at REACH LA Dance Studio, 1400 E. Olympic Blvd., Suite 240, Los Angeles, CA 90021, where doors open at 6 p.m.