The local HIV nonprofit organization Health Options and Positive Energy Foundation, better known as HOPE DC or the HOPE Foundation, has announced details of a 25th anniversary celebration Sept. 21 marking years of serving as a confidential resource and support group for HIV-positive gay and bisexual men.
HOPE DC formed during the height of the AIDS epidemic after several HIV-positive men met at Georgetown Hospital during as participants in clinical trials. They decided to meet outside of the hospital and began hosting social events at private homes in the area.
In 1996, the group became a volunteer-run nonprofit organization, the HOPE Foundation, which now includes more than 1,000 members. The group continues to host monthly social events where HIV-positive or positive-friendly gay and bisexual men can meet and support for each other. HOPE DC also works online, creating community through the Web, where member share resources about living with HIV – from dealing with discrimination, to advice on dating HIV-negative people, to breaking medical news related to HIV.
HOPE DC's activities are funded by a grant from the social service organization Brother, Help Thyself, and from private donations.
''We celebrate the dramatic medical breakthroughs that have turned HIV into a manageable condition, but we are deeply aware of the social challenges of living well and responsibly with HIV,'' Jim Garza, vice president of the HOPE Foundation, said in a statement. ''That is why, after 25 years, we are still here and will continue to be here as long as there is a need.''
HOPE DC's 25th Anniversary Social is Saturday, Sept. 21, to be held in a private home in Arlington. For more information on the celebration, visit hopedc.org/events. For more information about the organization, visit hopedc.org or call 202-466-5783.