Saturday, April 02, 2016

See Diana Ross, Fight HIV/AIDS!

Superstar Diana Ross is coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) and AIDS Project Rhode Island and Richie D, Mr. Gay Rhode Island 2015, have created a fundraising event called “Divas, Drinks & Dessert" to celebrate and raise money for a great cause!

The event, on Thursday, April 14, includes a cocktail reception at the “Rooftop at the Providence G” prior to the Diana Ross concert, a ticket to Diana Ross’ “In The Name of Love” show at PPAC, and, following the concert, back at the Rooftop at the Providence G, “Dessert with ‘Diana’ and Friends.” Ticket and sponsorship information are available by clicking here.

In addition to hit records as a member of The Supremes, Diana Ross’ hits include “I’m Coming Out,” “Love Hangover,” “Touch Me in the Morning,” and “Theme from Mahogany.”

“We are excited to have this opportunity to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS in conjunction with local arts events, especially with a concert starring an icon like Diana Ross,” said AIDS Project Rhode Island executive director Stephen Hourahan.  “The recent study from the Centers for Disease Control underscores the importance of heightening the fight against HIV/AIDS, and to do that fundraising is critical.”

A first-of-its-kind Centers for Disease Control study released in February found that African American men who have sex with other men have a one in two (50%) chance of being diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime; Hispanic men who have sex with other men have a one in four chance (25%).  “These and other numbers are shocking and a call to action,” he said.

He also pointed out that a local study, conducted by authors at Brown University, The Miriam Hospital and the Rhode Island Department of Health, found a strong link between “hook up” sites on-line and new HIV diagnoses. “Prevention outreach needs to be heightened.  We’re hoping that the owner of these sites will step forward to work with us to prevent the spread of HIV.”

Portions of the proceeds of this event will benefit AIDS Project Rhode Island’s initiative to support prevention.  This includes getting people who are HIV+ into treatment and care, promoting regular testing, and advocacy of prevention methods like condoms and “PrEP.”  PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a pill that when taken daily protects the body from contracting the HIV virus. 

Richie D said he was pleased to help raise money for AIDS Project Rhode Island.  “It’s going to be a wonderful evening for a wonderful cause,” he said. “The evening will be full of entertainment. We have a very talented cast of performers for our 'Dessert with ‘Diana’ and Friends' who graciously have donated their time," he added.  

“The evening will include performances in the likes of many of your favorite divas, like Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, and Liza Minnelli.  In addition there will a tribute to Diana Ross performed by the multi-talented Jackie Collins.  We also are so appreciative of the generous sponsor contribution from the Rooftop at the Providence G which allows this event to be possible.”

For more information about the event and to learn about free, rapid and anonymous HIV and Hepatitis C testing, visit

AIDS Project Rhode Island is a division of Family Service of Rhode Island.