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NYC Skyline Goes Red for AIDS Awareness, Fierstein Hosts

Friday May 15, 2015

As New York City prepares for the 30th Annual AIDS Walk New York on May 17, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) will "Light Up New York" beginning on May 14 through May 17.

The launch comes on the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo's release of a new Blueprint to end HIV/AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Beginning May 14, several of New York City's landmarks will light up RED, marked by a special ceremony at the Empire State Building held that day, to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS and build momentum toward the AIDS Walk on Sunday, May 17 in Central Park.

Writer and actor Harvey Fierstein will host the Lighting Ceremony to launch "Light Up New York" at the Empire State Building on Thursday, May 14 at 2 p.m. "May these lights, and those burning throughout the city, brighten the night sky with remembrance of the countless precious friends and family we've lost to AIDS," Fierstein said. "May they carry our pledge to see the end of this disease once and for all." Fierstein has been a long time supporter of GMHC and appeared at the very first AIDS Walk New York in 1986.

"Light Up New York" expands upon the Empire State Building's lighting tradition, which has over the years turned its spire red to observe important occasions related to HIV/AIDS awareness, including AIDS Walk New York. Secretary of GMHC's Board of Directors Osvaldo Perdomo is once again spearheading the operation to take the lighting city-wide. "Last year's 'Light Up New York' was a great success, garnering support from all over the city and reminding the region residents that AIDS is not over. This year is shaping up to be even bigger," said Perdomo. "It's gratifying to see so many New York institutions that are willing to take a powerful stand with GMHC in the fight against HIV and AIDS."

"With the help of our lighting partners, GMHC is continuing to shine a light on the continued challenges that we face in this third decade of AIDS," said Kelsey Louie, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "We thank them for their participation and willingness to support us in our work to advocate for a cure, prevent new infections, and provide much-needed support for thousands who are living with HIV here in the New York area."

Organizations interested in joining the "Light Up New York" initiative should contact Lauren Baldwin at 212.807.9255 (WALK).

Everyone is invited to participate by lighting their homes red or wearing red during May 11 - 17.

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