The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) hosted a star-studded concert at The Forum in Los Angeles on December 1. Iconic singers such as Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera headlined the event alongside Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy (DADA). Hosting the event was entertainer Randy Rainbow.
At the AHF World’s AIDS Day event, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was virtually honored with the Lifetime Achievement award. Within a pre-recorded video, Sanders stated, “Let me thank the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for the very kind award they’ve bestowed on me.”
He continued, “I appreciate it very much. Let me also join you today in commemorating World AIDS Day and in doing everything we can together to rid the world of this terrible disease. Let me conclude by thanking my wife Jane for accepting this award for me and for all the great and important work she has done over the years in so many areas.”
Those exclusively invited to this event included the Emmy awarding Debbie Allen, NBA legend Norm Nixon, Jenifer Lewis (ABC Black-ish), Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America/Coming 2 America) and EMMY-winner Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf), among others.
Championing the mission of AHF is the president of the organization, Michael Weinstein. In a previous interview recorded on www.businesswire.com, Weinstien elaborated on the importance of awareness. He stated, “We have another incredibly powerful tool to prevent HIV infection: any person who is HIV-positive, whose virus is undetectable, is 96 percent non-infectious to others,”
Weinstein continued“Yet in the United States only 40 percent of HIV-positive people are even seeing a doctor for their HIV and only 30 percent are undetectable. If every person with HIV in the United States knew their status, went on treatment, and had their viral load under control, there would be no new HIV infections.”
Allen reflected with her own narrative and how this virus affected her students as well as previous cast members she worked within past productions. She stated, “We know that if any community was hit hardest by AIDS, it was the art community, the dance world.
“I buried half my boys from Fame. My kids are here to celebrate life and celebrate the joy of what can be, while they’re also needing to be aware of what is happening around them. Everybody’s talking about COVID, but they need to not forget that AIDS is prevalent in killing millions of people every year,” Allen said.
The red-carpet entrance enticed celebrities to consider the critical role their influence plays in bringing awareness to any cause. Everyone there had a moment to reflect on what World’s Aids Day stood for. AHF released a statement upon invitation, outlining the need for L.A.’s revitalization in celebrating World’s AIDS Day.
As the world’s largest AIDS organization hosted in 45 countries, AHF wanted to return to Los Angeles with a special concert to revive the celebration of World AIDS Day, that formally acknowledged each year on December 1
The concert held at The Forum held significant meaning. The event shed light on the anniversary of the “first recognition” made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the crisis of AIDS in 1981, and the start of the AHF organization 35 years ago.
Looking to be an enchanting evening of advocacy and celebration, AHF highlighted featured performances from Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera, every seat was prepared to be filled for this one-of-a-kind show.
Hudson performed her song from Oscar-winning film, Dreamgirls, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” and ended her set with her version of Arethra Franklin’s “Hallelujah.” Aguilera followed suit to mind-blowing performances, she belted her timeless songs, “Ain’t No Other Man,” “Lady Marmalade,” and “Beautiful.”
Forbes Magazine captured the following quote from Aguilera while she was on stage,
“Today is such a special day. I’m so honored to be here for World AIDS Day with all of you. I am so inspired by all the amazing work that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is doing. Incredible, massive, so important. We are fighters and we’re in this all together.”
AHF also recognized the current health the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization stated the following within the press release, “While still navigating the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, AHF will also acknowledge progress made in the longstanding fight against HIV/AIDS and continue to raise awareness about the significant work globally still to be done.
The press release continued to state the following, “AHF’s 2021 World AIDS Day concert will also raise funds to benefit the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA). AHF has raised a significant portion of funds with generous donations from Wells Fargo, City National Bank, Goldman Sachs and the Brotherhood Crusade.”
AHF works as a global nonprofit organization, building a strong foundation that brings medicine and much-needed support to over 1.6 million people in 45 countries around the world. As of today, they are “the largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world”.
To get more details about their mission, one can visit www.aidshealth.org, or connect with AHF via social media; www.facebook.com/aidshealth , Twitter: @aidshealthcare, and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.