Bars and coffee shops help raise money for AIDS patients

    Philadelphia joins in on a project that began in Chicago five years ago.

    Philadelphia bars and coffee houses will donate part of their proceeds to AIDS services Thursday night. It’s the first year Philadelphia is taking part in the initiative, which started five years ago in Chicago.

    For one night only, bars and coffee houses will donate about a third of their revenue to help people with AIDS through four local outreach organizations.

    One of them is Action AIDS. Executive Director Kevin Burns says while medications have made living with the disease more manageable, it’s still an epidemic, and it’s spread beyond the stigmatized demographic of gay men.

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    “You know, AIDS is now the number one killer of women between the ages of 18 and 44, and Philadelphia has a national infection rate of five times the national average, so we really see this not only as an opportunity to raise money for services, but also an opportunity to engage the community and to educate them about the need to know their status.”

    Twelve bars and coffee houses are participating. Some include Fergies, Bike Stop, Cafe Cret, and City Tap House.

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