May 2016


President & Chief Executive Officer Michael Gifford

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently released their annual HIV surveillance report. This important report details both yearly and longer term trends in the AIDS epidemic in Wisconsin. It is a critical tool in helping to decide where to allocate the resources needed to help people with HIV live long, healthy lives and where to target prevention programs to stop new infections.

Michael Gifford, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin President and Chief Executive Officer, made the following statement regarding the release of Wisconsin's annual HIV/AIDS surveillance report:

"This report demonstrates the importance of continuing to focus on the still fatal AIDS epidemic, and especially its disproportionate impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. In 2015, 225 new cases of HIV were diagnosed among Wisconsin residents, bringing the total number of people estimated to be living with HIV in our state to more than 7,900.  Unfortunately, the overwhelming burden of HIV disease is among young men and people of color.

"The troubling and ongoing impact of this epidemic should serve to remind all of us about the need for programs that reduce the spread of HIV. At ARCW, we have built and constantly improve upon the nation’s leading health care delivery system for people with HIV and have started Wisconsin’s first community based PrEP clinic – a new and innovative HIV prevention strategy that can prevent the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic for the next generation at highest risk for HIV. Both of these critical health care clinics are available to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance coverage.

“The data for the state of Wisconsin affirms that we have not yet achieved our collective vision of a world without AIDS.  The strategic partnerships between ARCW and our public and private collaborators have allowed Wisconsin to more effectively manage HIV than virtually any other state, yet significant challenges remain to winning the fight against AIDS.”

Goals Announced for Patient Enrollment

During his speech at the 2016 Make A Promise Gala,  ARCW President & Chief Executive Officer Michael Gifford reflected on all battles won in the fight against AIDS and assessed the goals that ARCW must accomplish in the year ahead.

Those goals include serving over 2,000 patients and extending the role of ARCW as Wisconsin’s largest provider of HIV medical care. ARCW will also increase access to PrEP, building the largest PrEP clinic in Wisconsin with a specific goal to have four PrEP clinics open by 2017.

Gifford also announced a new Food As Medicine program in partnership with Feeding America to improve the health and food security of ARCW patients and new partnerships to extend efforts to combat the heroin epidemic and prevent new HIV infections.

Potentially most importantly, and the largest challenge, Gifford also announced that, while 88% of ARCW patients are virally-suppressed (11% above the national average), ARCW is working toward a goal of ensuring 90% of ARCW patients will have an undetectable viral load.
These goals will not be easy, but through philanthropy, strategic partnerships and the expert care offered at ARCW, strategies are being developed to put these goals within reach.

To learn more about these goals or to see your philanthropic support in action, call Amber Wegener at 414-225-1543.

Red Ribbon Affair

Dinner to be held May 20

The 24th Annual Red Ribbon Affair is quickly approaching. More than 250 community and business leaders, philanthropists and friends of ARCW will gather at the Madison Concourse on Friday, May 20, for an evening of food and fun, raising critical funds for the fight against AIDS. The spirited silent auction features unique items such as a private party performance by one of Wisconsin’s favorite polka bands, Blaksapelle Milwaukee. Enjoy scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a three-course dinner at this upscale, contemporary event. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit our website or contact Dan Curd at or 608.316.8601.

Food Drive at PrideFest

ARCW patients will benefit again from this year’s PrideFest in Milwaukee and so will attendees. On Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 from 11am to 2pm, attendees who donate four nonperishable food items to the ARCW Food Pantry at the entrance to PrideFest will receive a ticket voucher good for same-day 2-for-1 admission valid only during the hours of the promotion.

Over three tons of food have been collected for the ARCW Food Pantry as a result of this promotion. As the summer months approach, this support is crucial at a time when many people don’t think it is necessary.

“Food donations are always necessary,” said Guy Alicia Reed, ARCW Director of Food Services. “Our purchasing budget is challenged as we head into the summer months and since hundreds of children get their food through our pantry as well, more food is needed in the house when summer vacations start.”

Healthy food and good nutrition are vital parts of successful HIV treatment, making the ARCW Food Pantry a vital part of the host of programs ARCW provides people and families living with HIV. Every year the ARCW Food Pantry is ranked among the best in Wisconsin for the wide variety of healthy foods we offer and the dignity and respect with which we serve HIV patients.

Enjoy an inexpensive way to get into PrideFest 2016 and help the fight against AIDS. By participating in the PrideFest Food Drive promotion this year.

Patient Satisfaction Survey Results

As a part of its rigorous commitment to continuous quality improvement, ARCW conducts an annual survey of its patients and clients. In doing so, ARCW can work to ensure  it is delivering programs patients are identifying they need to be successful in managing their HIV disease, as well as any other health conditions they may have.

The responses to this annual survey also allow ARCW health care, social service and prevention staff to gain direct feedback that provides specific insight into how ARCW can continue to evolve to meet complex patient health care and social service needs.

Among the key findings:

  • 96% of ARCW patients and clients report that their situation has improved since using ARCW.

  • More than 93% of ARCW patients and clients would recommend ARCW to a friend living with HIV.

  • More than 94% of ARCW patients and clients indicate they are treated in a non-judgmental way

  • More than 93% of patients and clients rate the quality of ARCW care as good, very good or excellent.

While the statistical analysis of responses is insightful, it is also important to look at the open-ended comments ARCW received when patients were asked to comment on the impact of ARCW on their lives:

“I don’t know. Can’t imagine. I guess I’d be long gone by now.”

“I don’t know where else to go and be treated like a human being.”

“I would not be able to manage my health needs. I wouldn’t have any support.”

“…I would have lost my teeth.”

“It would be devastating because I rely on them for a multitude of services.”

Click here to support the high quality HIV health care delivered by ARCW.


The Greatest Promise on Earth

On Saturday, April 9, more than 900 guests and volunteers came together for The Greatest Promise On Earth, the 30th annual Make A Promise gala & auction at the Wisconsin Center in Downtown Milwaukee. The event was presented by returning sponsor MillerCoors.

Guests were greeted by performers with a nouveau cirque flair, including acrobats and stilt walkers. Attendees perused a silent auction curated especially for the Make A Promise crowd, while enjoying complimentary MillerCoors products before they moved into the ballroom for dinner.

The program then moved into a rousing live auction. The top prize was “A Big Top of Baseball,” which included the first pitch at the July 31 Brewers game donated by the Milwaukee Brewers, paired with 20 suite tickets to the MillerCoor’s Founder’s Suite that sold with a winning bid of $5,000. The live auction was rounded out with the envelope appeal, raising a record-breaking $63,000 for the ARCW PrEP Clinic.

During dinner, the crowd was delighted by four spectacular aerialists. The evening featured an awards ceremony honoring stupendous leaders in the fight against AIDS: BMO Harris Bank, 2016 Philanthropy Award and 2016 Leadership Awards presented to UW Health and Wisconsin State Representative John Nygren.

Dancing on Milwaukee’s hottest dancefloor wrapped up the celebration that raised $270,000 for ARCW prevention, care and treatment services, placing this Make A Promise among the top five for funds raised in its thirty year run.

Camp BINGO Breaks Records

It wasn’t your grandmother’s BINGO!

On January 31, February 28 and March 20, the 2016 Camp BINGO season brought down the house with a series of fun, sassy and outrageous BINGO games that broke both fundraising and attendance records all to support people with HIV/AIDS.

Each month’s event had a different theme, with guests and hosts alike having a great time getting into character. January was “Bad Hair BINGO” and every hilarious interpretation of that was present. January also marked an all-time record for single event attendance with 461 participants who raised $14,755.

February the tartans came out to play at “Plaid BINGO.” From kilts to flannels, scarves to school uniforms; plaid was everywhere. This second event in the series raised $10,775 with 388 participants.

March got a little wild with “Classy and Trashy BINGO.” Mullets and bling and everything in between were on display rounding out this BINGO season, raising an additional $9,842 from nearly 300 participants. In total Camp BINGO raised $43,926.

Stay tuned for details on next year’s BINGO schedule.

ARCW PrEP Clinic 2016

An animated narration detailing the ARCW PrEP Clinic. Visit arcw.prg/PrEP for more information.

PrEP Yourself Videos I & II

Visit our website,, to learn if PrEP, a single pill that when taken daily can reduce your risk of HIV by up to 90%, is right for you.

At the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin - ARCW PrEP is not just a pill, but a complete, sexual health program.

PrEP Yourself Video I

PrEP Yourself Video II

For information on any of these activities, please call Nick Giebel in Milwaukee at 414-225-1615, or Dan Curd in Madison at 608-316-8601.