This article was published on March 11th, 2019
With the announcement of not one…not two…but three different people functionally cured of HIV/AIDS in the past month, the medical, HIV/AIDS, and queer communities are reveling in the ‘positive’ regarding the greatest plague of this generation. While there are skeptics as to what these people being cured means, most agree that the fight against the once terminal disease must rage on. And that’s why nights like Dining Out For Life, a fundraising event hosted by Vancouver restaurants in conjunction with local charity A Loving Spoonful remain so vitally important.
It is known that more than 1.8 million people contracted HIV in 2017, with a total of 2,402 new HIV cases happening in Canada in the same year. In fact, 63,000+ Canadians are now living with HIV, and these numbers are a 3% increase from 2016. Organizations like A Loving Spoonful in Vancouver and Project Angel Food in Los Angeles provide free of cost healthy, nutritious meals to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. While the government subsidizes only 20% of A Loving Spoonful’s funding, the rest must come from events like Dining Out For Life.
A Loving Spoonful’s executive director Lisa Martella is optimistic about the news but cautions that these ‘cures’ are premature in regard to being accessible to the public.
“This procedure certainly offers a glimmer of hope, but we’re far from the end. It’s taken nearly 12 years to replicate the 2007 ‘Berlin Patient’s’ results, and this type of procedure is risky and will never be available on a mass scale. It’s more accurate to say this case will help guide researchers working on gene and antibody therapies for HIV. But a cure is still years, if not decades away.”
Dining Out For Life takes place this Thursday, March 14 in the Lower Mainland. British Columbia’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser, Dining Out For Lifewill see restaurants from Whistler to Whiterock, Vancouver, and everywhere in between participating in this philanthropic event by donating 25% of all their food sales to A Loving Spoonful. Participants can “dine out” for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at participating restaurants and can give back by simply dining out…for life.
The news of the recently cured patients should not be dismissed as anything but a huge breakthrough in science. But local and regional organizations on the ground and in the trenches desperately depend on donations and fundraisers like Dining Out for Life. If you are in British Columbia, do the simplest task of simply eating out. Little do you know, you’re probably contributing in saving someone less fortunate than you’s life.
Dining Out For Lifeis Thursday, March 14, 2019 at participating establishments. You can find all the listed restaurants in your area here: www.diningoutforlife.com
To help the extraordinary organization feeding 100,000 people a year that is A Loving Spoonful, visit their website at: www.alovingspoonful.org