Telluride AIDS Benefit: Overview

Telluride AIDS Benefit: Overview

Telluride AIDS Benefit, February 19 – February 29, hosts events to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS in Colorado + Africa. To support TABs and its beneficiaries, seven in all, go to the online auction and BUY NOW.


The current cost of care for one person living with HIV is $3,500 per month and $42,000 per year. The Telluride AIDS Benefit has been raising funds for HIV/AIDS patient care in Colorado and Africa since 1994.

It is estimated that there are 39 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide; 1 in 5 people living with HIV don’t know their status. In Colorado alone, there are over 12,000 people known to be living with HIV/AIDS; 32% of new HIV diagnosis in the state are youth ages 20-29.

The mission of the Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) is to raise awareness and generate financial support for HIV/AIDS prevention programs and client care. TAB’s vision is to keep AIDS relevant in every generation and to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society.

To date, TAB has raised over $2 million for our beneficiary organizations. The TAB staff, board, and volunteers are a group of individuals dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS until we reach the goal of ZERO new infections in the state of Colorado, across the country, and then the world.

And we believe that goal is attainable.

2016 Telluride AIDS Benefit schedule of events: 

TAB Student Show @ The Michael D. Palm Theater Friday Feb. 19th, 6pm


Tickets $10/student, $20/adults

Tickets available at or at the door.

Reserve seating available by contacting Sandy McLaughlin @ 970.519.0081

Sneak Peak Show @ the Telluride Conference Center, Thursday Feb. 25th, 8pm

Tickets available @

Art Auction @ the Sheridan Opera House, Friday Feb. 26, noon – 9pm

Free to the public. Artist reception starts at 6pm.

CHIP Kids Art Auction @ the Sheridan Opera House Gallery Room, Friday Feb. 26, noon – 9, Free to the public.

FREE HIV Testing @ the Wilkinson Public Library, Friday, Feb. 26, 10-3, hosted by TAB beneficiary, The Western Colorado AIDS Project. Results in 10 minutes.

Gala Fashion Show @ the Telluride Conference Center, Saturday Feb. 27th, 8pm

Tickets available @

AIDS Benefit & Telluride Gay Ski Week AFTER PARTY featuring DJ Ruckus @ the Sheridan Opera House, Saturday Feb. 27th, 10pm



Tickets available @

Designer Sample Sale @ the Sheridan Opera House, Monday February 28th, 10am – 6pm, all designer clothing donated to TAB not sold in the live auction will be for sale to the public at great discounts!

To volunteer for this year’s event, contact

Student Education Program:

Telluride High School AIDS Education Day will be held Friday, February 26, 2016. The opening program (8:30 am in the Michael D. Palm Theater) is for students in grade 7-12. The Student Peer Education Team will present their short educational film, followed by keynote speaker, Paige Rawl. Paige is a 21-year old activist from Madison, WI, born HIV positive. Her keynote will cover the basics of how HIV is transmitted, the difficulty and ensuing bullying she received due to her status and how she has overcome these obstacles. Paige wrote a bestselling book, “Positive,” about her life, and travels the U.S. speaking to students about HIV/AIDS and bullying. More information



The 2016 Show: 

Party. Fight. Fear. Live. 

Artistic Direction by brother-and-sister team Colin Sullivan and Jessica Galbo. The theme of this year’s show will take audience members through the Rock ’n Roll decades of this disease from the 1970s until today. The history of the HIV virus is a complex and dynamic ongoing story of culture, medicine, politics, sex, mystery, and heartbreak. Most importantly, it’s a story of people: the people who contracted and died from the virus and the people who lost friends and loved ones to the virus. Finding a path out of this darkness means understanding one simple thing: no one is immune.

The Live Auction:

The bulk of TAB funds are raised each year via the Live Auction, which follows both the Sneak Peek, and Gala Fashion shows. This year’s auction items will include some incredible donated items not available anywhere else.

Here is a preview of some Saturday night auction items: 


This auction package includes two tickets to the most anticipated fashion event of the year. This show is otherwise invitation only. Happening in December 2016, the tickets entitle the winning bidder to a prime seat at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, entrance into the VIP after-party, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. Minimum Bid, $25,000.


Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, NASCAR Testing At Pocono Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, NASCAR Testing At Pocono Raceway.

Grandstand passes to the race of your choosing, compliments of Jimmy Johnson and Chad Knaus (six-time champion team) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


2 tickets to 3 shows during the exclusive Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, private shopping experience with a professional stylist at hip Williamsburg boutique, Concrete+Water.

OTHER ITEMS INCLUDE: AIDS Benefit Custom Wagner Skis, Alta Lakes Observatory Night with private chef, Local Festivals Package, New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire Bike, and so many other fun items!

Proceeds from all events support TAB Beneficiary Organizations:


WestCAP image

WestCAP began in 1985 as a grassroots response to people dying from AIDS on the western slope. The primary goal was to help those with AIDS live the rest of their lives with dignity and quality. Over 4,000 individuals on the Western Slope are reached annually with outreach, education and free rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing.

WestCAP became TAB’s primary beneficiary, when a group of locals wanted to support their friend and TAB’s muse, Robert Presley, as his medical bills mounted in his fight against HIV/AIDS. Robert asked that all the funds raised from a nascent TAB be given to WestCAP.

CU Western Colorado Specialty Care Clinic, Grand Junction, CO:

Assisting clients with HIV/AIDS in western Colorado, this program provides care to over 1700 HIV+ persons at the main clinic in Aurora and to over 500 HIV+ persons in collaboration with other clinics around the state.



CHIP has been the sole provider of specialized care for children with HIV infection in the Rocky Mountain region since its inception in 1991. CHIP’s programs improve the health and quality of life for children, youth, young adults, pregnant women, and families living with, affected by or at risk of HIV infection.


Brother Jeff’s Community Health Initiative works to reduce the disproportionate HIV and AIDS rate among African Americans and to enhance the quality of life for African Americans living with HIV and AIDS regardless of age, faith, background or sexual orientation. The nonprofit provides individuals across the state with cases of free condoms and education materials; and help people living with HIV and AIDS access housing, treatment and employment.

ETHIOPIAN FAMILY FUND, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:


The Ethiopian Family Fund works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where HIV/AIDS is widespread in Ethiopia and where people who test positive for HIV/AIDS are often ostracized from their families and communities. EFF helps to run an orphanage for women and children with HIV/AIDS. They help young mothers with HIV/AIDS to get assistance, job training, and medical care.

GENERATION UBUNTU, Khayletisha, South Africa:

Generation Ubuntu

Generation Ubuntu

Generation Ubuntu, formerly Ubuntu Africa, improves the health and wellbeing of children and teens living with HIV through a holistic care model: health and nutrition, psychosocial support, HIV & life-skills education, and community engagement.

MANZANI YOUTH CARE, Swaziland, Africa:

Manzini Youth Care provides the basic needs of food, shelter, education, training, life skills, and medical care for orphaned or abandoned children in Swaziland, Africa. Such a need arises from the devastating effects of Swaziland’s HIV/AIDS pandemic. MYC provides outreach and transitional care for children living on the streets.

The Live Stream, Town of Mountain Village:

The Town of Mountain Village will air the Gala live – on Mountain Village Cable Channel 15 and online at – Saturday, February 27 at 8 p.m.


More about the After Party:

TAB + TGSW present DJ Ruckus:

Closing out the week of amazing events, Telluride AIDS Benefit and Telluride Gay Ski Week present DJ RUCKUS. Hailed by GQ as “the most sought after DJ in the world,” DJ Ruckus has never moved slowly in establishing himself as the premiere open-format deejay. At age 16, just two years after receiving turntables as a birthday gift, Ruckus was headlining the biggest nightclubs in his native Miami. By the following year, while just a junior in high school, Ruckus was behind the turntables at Diddy’s lavish birthday bash in Morocco and performing his signature fusion of hip-hop, rock, electro, house, soul, funk, and reggae around the globe.

Tickets available at or

HIV/AIDS Timeline:


  • First cases of AIDS reported in US.


  • 600 deaths to date in the US.


  • AIDS cases have been reported in 33 countries.


  • US govt. predicts an AIDS vaccine will be ready for testing within two years.
  • 5,000 deaths to date in the US


  • Ryan White, a 13-year-old hemophiliac with AIDS, is barred from school in Indiana.
  • Rock Hudson dies of AIDS.


  • Perry Ellis dies of AIDS.
  • 25,000 deaths to date in the US


  • AZT becomes the first anti-HIV drug approved by the FDA, the most expensive drug in history.
  • The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is founded in NYC.
  • Liberace dies of AIDS.
  • 40,000 deaths to date in the US.


  • To date, nearly twice as many Americans have died of AIDS as died in the Vietnam War.
  • Halston, fashion designer, dies of AIDS.
  • Keith Haring, artist, dies of AIDS.


  • Magic Johnson announces that he is HIV+.
  • Freddie Mercury dies of AIDS.
  • 10 million people are infected with HIV worldwide.
  • 150,000 deaths to date in the US


  • AIDS is the leading cause of death among all Americans ages 25 to 44.
  • Eazy-E, rap star from NWA, dies of AIDS.
  • 320,000 deaths to date in the US


  • Combination drug therapy made available; deaths from AIDS drop 23%.
  • 22.6 million people infected with HIV worldwide.


  • AIDS deaths in the US decline by 42%.
  • Robert Presley, Telluride fashion designer, dies of AIDS.
  • 400,000 deaths to date in the US


  • Michael D. Palm dies of AIDS.


  • In sub-Saharan Africa 55% of all HIV+ are women.


  • 36.1 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.


  • AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide among people aged 15-59.
  • FDA approved “finger prick” Rapid HIV-1 Antibody test.
  • 500,000 deaths to date in the US


  • PEPFAR is created to fight HIV/AIDS internationally.


  • 1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.


  • African-Americans account for more than half of new HIV infections in the US.
  • Mother-to-child transmission in the US has declined to less than two percent.


  • The “Berlin patient” is first reported cured case of HIV.
  • Scientists who discovered HIV (in 1983) are awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.


  • PReP is recommended to prevent HIV infection in high-risk populations.


  • Denver signs Fast Track Cities Initiative: A pledge to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030
  • 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS
  • More than 600,000 Americans have died of AIDS since the start of the epidemic.
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