Gary Dell’Abate, president of the HIV-advocacy organization Lifebeat, announced the installation of an interactive artwork, “The Arches of Hope,” in New York City. The artwork is part of a national campaign to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among young people and bring about an HIV-free generation. Antonio Pio Saracino designed “The Arches of Hope,” which was the idea of Patrick Duffy, creative director of gay-oriented hotel The Out NYC.
The awareness campaign kicked off with a week-long celebration that will culminate in a January 17 reception at The Out NYC. During the week preceding the reception, Lifebeat asked people across the country to tweet “messages of hope for an HIV-free generation” using the hashtag #Arches of Hope. Messages were displayed on JumboTron screens in Times Square and on digital tickertape embedded in the interactive art installation. These Twitter messages were also shared across 12 social networking sites. Salt-N-Pepa’s Sandra “Pepa” Denton, long-time safe sex advocate, participated in the reception. Unveiling of “The Arches of Hope” is timed to coincide with President Obama’s inauguration.
Dell’Abate—also known as “Baba Booey,” the producer of “The Howard Stern Show”—became an HIV/AIDS activist after his brother’s death from AIDS. Dell’Abate stated that Lifebeat launched the awareness campaign because young people have become “cavalier” about unprotected sex after the development of effective HIV treatment.