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Being Alive to present Art & Soul fundraising event on June 23

SAN DIEGO -- Art & Soul, Being Alive San Diego's signature fundraising event, will be held from 6-9 pm Saturday, June 23.

Formerly known as Soul Plates, each year celebrity artists create one-of-a-kind art pieces that are auctioned off at the event, which typically attracts over 250 guests.

Besides raising money for the vital services that Being Alive provides, organizers hope to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS and need for support services for San Diegans living with the disease.

Tickets to the eighth annual event are $60 for individuals, with tables available for groups.

Proceeds from the event will help Being Alive pay for direct services that benefit very low income people living with HIV/AIDS. These services include peer advocacy and counseling; insurance enrollment; housing information and referral; emergency moving services; Animeals (companion pet services); food pantry; recreation program; the holistic AIDS response program; and community outreach and education.

The need

With 6,140 San Diegans living with AIDS, San Diego County has the third highest number of AIDS cases in California. A comparable number of county residents are known to be HIV-positive. Many more are unaware of their HIV status. It is estimated that in San Diego County about 80% of people living with HIV/AIDS report earning less than $1,000 per month.

The agency

Being Alive San Diego (BASD) was founded in 1989 by HIV-positive individuals who volunteered their time and talents to fill the need for support and empowerment in the HIV/AIDS affected community. Today, BASD is the longest, continually operating support service organization for people living with HIV/AIDS in San Diego County, improving the quality of life for more than 8,000 San Diegans affected by this disease.

BASD’s client population reflects the profile detailed in the 2011 HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Report prepared by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. Like the disease, our clients are typically white (78%) and living in San Diego’s central region (78%). Fifty percent (50%) of the clients who receive peer support at the agency are 45 years or older. In addition, about 80% of BASD clients live at or below federal guidelines for poverty.

It is the mission of Being Alive San Diego to deliver quality, compassionate services to people affected by HIV and AIDS; and to provide education and referral services to those in need. The agency’s goal is not just to help people live with HIV/AIDS, but to help them live well. In 2007 BASD adopted an action plan to improve services to the affected community utilizing four integrated strategies:

Health and wellness promotion,

Early intervention, education and prevention,

Adherence and medication support, and

Life skills education and support

For tickets or more information about Art & Soul, call Tom Hepler at 619-291-1400 x 324.