Alli, who is a close and dear friend of mine, started the non-profit, Shaking Hands, to raise awareness that HIV is not limited to the demographics typically associated with HIV. In 2015, someone very close to her suddenly lost his life due to complications around an undiagnosed case of HIV.
If you have been following the blog for a while, you may remember a feature of Chris and Alli from a few years ago. I wanted to share that happy memory here.
His name was Chris. He was a 35-year-old, fun-loving, athletic, heterosexual, drug-free, white male. He was also a friend of mine. It was shocking to find out Chris was infected with HIV. It was more devastating to know that his life could have been saved, had he known his status earlier.
Alli founded Shaking Hands [with HIV] to start the conversation, so that people can anonymously get tested. Shaking Hands provides anonymous, at home HIV tests, free of charge to those who want to know their status. If they do find out they are infected, they can then start the journey to learn more about the life-saving drug treatments available to them, with support along the way.
When Alli asked me to capture moments from the Shaking Hands launch party, I of course agreed. These are some of my favorite photos from the launch party that I felt so privileged and humbled to be part of.
To help raise money at the event, there was a raffle with tons of great items, such as Atlanta United tickets, various restaurant gift cards, gift baskets and more.
Everyone had a great time coming out to support Alli and Shaking Hands.
Please visit www.shakinghandswithHIV.com to learn more and to donate.