Entertainment » Theatre

Betances Health Center Dramatizes Stories of Living With HIV

Friday Dec 1, 2017
Miss Universe 2013 Maria Gabriela Isler
Miss Universe 2013 Maria Gabriela Isler   

On the evening of December 1, Betances Health Center will present "Celebrating Life" at St. Augustine's Church Parish Hall in New York, featuring special guest Gabriela Isler Morales, Venezuelan TV Host and Miss Universe 2013.

With the participation of patients, volunteers, and celebrities, Betances Health Center has created a theatrical production to commemorate World Aids Day in New York. Patients will play the protagonists alongside a wide selection of professionals that have collaborated with this Center. "Celebrating Life" tells four real stories about the dilemmas faced by women and men living with HIV.

They deal with decisions about pregnancy, the use of the popular app Grindr and its consequences, the world of Crystal Meth, and the hostility towards and exclusion of the transgender community. Betances Case Manager Isabel González wrote the script and Venezuelan Theater and Opera Director Miguel Bandres is the director.

The event features Gabriela Isler Morales, Venezuelan TV Host and Miss Universe 2013; Ariel Maida, Argentinean Crossover Tenor; Miguel Bandres, Theater and Opera Director; Julia Tsien, CEO, Betances Health Center; and Fidel Bu Contreras, HIV Program Director, Betances Health Center.

On June 29, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo detailed a three-point plan to move us closer to the end of the AIDS epidemic in New York State. The goal is to reduce the number of new HIV infections to just 750 (from an estimated 3,000) by 2020 and achieve the first-ever decrease in HIV prevalence in New York State.


While there have been many successes in the treatment of HIV and AIDS over the last 28 years since the first commemoration of World AIDS Day, many challenges remain, especially for racial and ethnic groups and gay or bisexual men who are more greatly affected and must overcome stigma. A primary goal of Betances Health Center is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV or AIDS from these diverse groups by reducing the stigma and discrimination they face. Through art, patients will help others understand the problem.

The event features a red carpet and cocktail reception from 6-7 p.m., followed by the program "Celebrating Life" from 7-9 p.m.

It will be held on Friday, December 1, at St. Augustine's Church Parish Hall, 292 Henry St., New York, NY 10002.


World AIDS Day 2017

This story is part of our special report titled "World AIDS Day 2017." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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