Ron Gilmer on why support the Telluride AIDS Benefit

Ron Gilmer on why support the Telluride AIDS Benefit

[click “Play” to hear Ron Gilmer’s conversation with Susan]

Ron Gilmer with Brother Jeff

Ron Gilmer is affectionately known around town  as the Grand Vizer or Grand Potentate of the Telluride AIDS Benefit.

While he lived, Ron’s partner Robert Presley inspired the Telluride community with his generosity, his talent as a fabric artist, and his wild and crazy ways. The man was universally loved. Even after his death from AIDS in August 1997, Robert continued to make a difference: the added complication of having AIDS in rural Colorado helped change the way state Medicaid handles virus patients. Robert was also the muse of the Telluride AIDS Benefit, started by a group of his friends in 1994 as a street dance to help  him offset his burgeoning AIDS-related medical expenses.

New drug therapies that emerged in the late-1990s into the new millennium provided hope for many that were infected, but also caused despair for those who developed resistance and a false sense of confidence to those who believed they could now take a pill and make it go away. Risky behavior returned with a vengeance.

Ron advocates one simple tenet: if you are HIV negative, stay that way. Which is why he lends his voice and support to the Telluride AIDS Benefit’s efforts to educate persons at risk for the infection – all of us –  and help those already infected through TAB’s beneficiaries.

The theme of the 2010 Telluride AIDs Benefit is A.R.E. you safe? Awareness. Respect. Esteem. Click the “play” button on his podcast to listen to Ron talk about what this year’s slogan means and more.

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