PHOTOS: The Legendary Crystal Ball

University of the Arts’ Hamilton Hall was dripping with eleganza and all-around fabulousness Saturday night when Philadelphia Fight hosted the COLOURS Oganization‘s annual Legendary Crystal Ball in conjunction with its monthlong AIDS Education Month events. The evening brings together some of the city’s most ferocious house/ballroom houses to duke it out for the top prize in categories that range from Best Female Figure Face to Best Male Figure Realness and Best Female Figure Sex Siren. It’s the fiercest thing you’ve seen since the last time you watched Paris Is Burning.

For that extra touch of LGBT, the theme for the night was all things Wizard of Oz — from the original movie to The Wiz and Oz the Great and Powerful. Philly Fight was kind enough to send along some photos from the competition. First, bow down, (seriously, you’re not worthy) then check out the amazing action shots in the slideshow below.



Philadelphia FIGHT Honors Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

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Last night at the Independence Visitor Center Philadelphia FIGHT hosted its kickoff party for AIDS Education Month, a series of  classes, awareness events, and parties throughout the month, featuring a free hip-hop performance by Wale at the Trocadero on National HIV Testing Day, Friday, June 27th.

At last night’s event, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, Ph.D., a French virologist and director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Division at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, was presented with the 2014 Kiyoshi Kuromiya award. Dr. Barré-Sinoussi, who also serves as president of the International AIDS Society, received the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the co-discovery of HIV.

Check out photos of Philadelphia FIGHT’s honoring of Françoise Barré-Sinoussi »

Philly FIGHT Opens New HIV Treatment/Prevention Facility
for Local Youth

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Philly HIV/AIDS service organization Philadelphia FIGHT‘s Youth Health Empowerment Project (Y-HEP) recently opened a new family care clinic catering to Philly youth. The aim of the new location is to connect to the city’s “hardest-to-reach” young people by offering a safe, judgment-free space where they can receive free treatment and prevention services, participate in peer-led workshops and activities, or come in for food, clothing and mental counseling and support.

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Philadelphia FIGHT Participating in Major Clinical Trial to Find HIV Cure

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Local HIV service organization Philadelphia FIGHT has announced that it will participate in “the largest randomized trial anywhere” to find a cure for HIV. The project — led by West Philly biomedical research institute Wistar — is funded by a four-year, $6.2-million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health. The goal? To lead a clinical trial that aims to “drain the viral reservoir” of the HIV-1 virus in patients with HIV/AIDS.”

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Philadelphia FIGHT Teams With Eastern State Penitentiary for Holiday Toy Drive

philly fight toy drivePhiladelphia FIGHT‘s Institute for Community Justice — which works “to reduce not only the number of people in prison living with HIV, but also the lasting effects of mass imprisonment on communities most affected” —  is teaming with Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) for its annual toy drive benefitting children of incarcerated or recently released parents. Now through Dec. 15, any visitor to ESP who donates a new toy or children’s book that’s still in its original package will receive a second admission free of charge. Don’t feel like a stroll through the prison? Folks can make donations during regular business hours even if they don’t plan on taking the tour.

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PHOTOS: Ed Rendell Honored at Philadelphia FIGHT Gala

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Philadelphia FIGHT Executive Director Jane Shull presents an award to former Governor Ed Rendell to honor his work to fight HIV/AIDS in the city.

G Philly pal — and Philly Mag society photographer — HughE Dillon sent along some photos of Wednesday night’s FIGHT for Life Gala. The event, hosted by local HIV/AIDS org Philadelphia FIGHT, was a fundraiser that also served as an opportunity to honor former Governor Ed Rendell for “his career-long support of people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT Community.”

You can see a clip of his acceptance speech here, and check out the slideshow of photos from the evening below.

Check out the slideshow of photos after the jump »

3 Philadelphians Make POZ 100 List

POZ, the print and online magazine for people living with HIV/AIDS, just released its annual POZ 100 list, and three Philadelphians made the cut. According to POZ, the list is “made up of 100 HIV-positive unsung heroes from around the country who are committed to ending the epidemic. From people who volunteer for AIDS service organizations or work as policy advocates, to those who act as educators to promote prevention and treatment, the POZ 100 represents an incredibly diverse spectrum of people living with HIV who are making a difference on the front lines.” And the Philly honorees are:

jaci adams philadelphiaJaci Adams, the amazing trans activist and volunteer coordinator at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, who was also honored this year with the Mazzoni Center’s Activist Leader award. Here’s what POZ had to say about her: “Jaci Adams is a 55-year-old transgender woman who transformed her experiences as an abused and neglected child into empowering lessons and advocacy for the neglected and vulnerable. She has been a long-term volunteer with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and helps coordinate volunteers and educate others on HIV and transgender awareness. Jaci served as a member of the Morris County Planning Committee and the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference Planning Committee. She is a founding member of the Temple University Community Advisory Board and founded the People with Hope Trans Conference in 2004. Jaci is currently battling Stage IV cancer. But that isn’t stopping her: She sold raffle tickets for an AIDS Law Project fundraiser to her chemotherapy treatment team.”

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