AIDS Project Rhode Island kicks off a series of events to commemorate its 35th anniversary on February 20 with a Red Ribbon Cocktail Party at the Ballroom at the Providence G, with featured speaker Bruce Richman, a Rhode Island native who is an internationally respected activist and advocate.
Richman, who grew up in Barrington and attended Brown University, is the founding executive director of the Prevention Access Campaign and the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign that fights HIV stigma around the world. U=U means that a person living with HIV who is on effective treatment and whose viral load is undetectable in routine medical check-ups cannot pass on HIV to a sexual partner.
The U=U campaign has gained hundreds of partners globally, including the Rhode Island Department of Health. Richman and U=U have been featured extensively in national and international media, including The Washington Post, Plus magazine, CBS Evening News, China Global Television, CNN, The Guardian, Daily Mail, and The Lancet, among other outlets. He has received many honors for his work, including the 2017 Partnership Award from the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors and the Red Ribbon Award from the People With HIV Network of Vietnam in 2019. The U.S. Congress has also honored Prevention Access Campaign and U=U with official congressional recognition.
“Providence is my favorite city, and my family is in the area so I come back a lot, and it always feels like home,” Richman recently said in an interview, according to APRI. “I’d been impressed with APRI’s commitment to U=U, so I was excited and honored to be invited back to speak. I’m proud that Rhode Island was the 12th state health department in the country to sign on to the U=U campaign, and it’s really moving to know that my work has helped make a difference in the state that I love so much.”
“Bruce’s leadership in the fight against HIV stigma with U=U around the world has been a game-changer,” APRI Director Mikel Wadewitz says in a statement. “He has helped make sure we’re talking about the discrimination people living with HIV face, the access they need to effective, affordable treatment, and the persistent misconceptions about HIV that still exist in the world and that need to be tackled. We’re proud to have him join us to talk about what’s next in the fight against HIV.”