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Go Back to the 80’s with HOPfest 2017

30th Anniversary Benefit for HIV Outpatient Clinic



New Orleans is no stranger to festivals — among the ranks of music, food, beer, and film themed happenings, the fourth annual HOPfest offers a fest for a cause. On Saturday (5.20), the one-night event will benefit the HIV Outpatient Program (HOP), a part of University Medical Center. 

 

For just $20, guests will get unlimited access to the open bar, food, and entertainment from some of NOLA’s top talents. 

 

Held at Cafe Istanbul within the New Orleans Healing Center, HOPfest will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the HIV Outpatient Program by throwing it back to where it began with an 1980’s themed party. Attendees are encouraged to wear their best 80’s finery and indulge in dancing, drinks, and a full-on feast with Lucky Dog donating all-you-can-eat food for the event. 

 

Organizer KJ Carstarphen is the President of Krewe du Santé, an arts-focused non-profit dedicated to financially supporting medical causes and healthcare-related community services in both New Orleans and abroad.

 

The clinic, said Carstarphen, has functioned as a safety net for HIV-positive people in New Orleans for the past three decades. 

 

Back in 2014, NoDef spoke with Carstarphen about the inaugural HOPfest. Then, she reported that HOP operates as a very high volume clinic, with over 50 patients visiting a day. Services range from pap smears, to psychological care, to comprehensive treatments. In the intervening years, the clinic has remained as vital to the HIV positive community as ever. 

 

“Now, more than ever,” Carstarphen said this week, “we need to come together as a community to support every person’s right to accessible and skilled medical resources.”

 

Though HIV/AIDS funding has not been directed affected by the Trump administration's proposed 18 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services, there does not seem to be any plan from the White House to support the battle against HIV — with the Office of National Aids Policy page entirely without content. Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence, whose defunding of public health spending during his term as governor of Indiana lead to a major HIV outbreak in the state, has been vocal in his support to divert federal money from the Ryan White Care Act, which supports HIV-positive low-income Americans. 

 

“[The clinic] believes that all people living with HIV deserve compassionate care from skilled, dedicated professionals, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Carstarphen in a statement. In addition to medical services for HIV positive patients, HOP also works on research and education initiatives. This weekend’s HOPfest will raise money for the clinic’s diverse programming. 

 

Of course, no event in New Orleans would be complete without a sweet soundtrack. Live entertainment will be supplied by four local acts, including funk outfit Sexy Dex & The Fresh, rap royalty Delish Da Goddess, and two expressively punctuated bands, Sexual Thunder! and Volume Overload!

 

The team behind HOPfest stressed that the event is well worth the price of admission, offering a lineup of some of the top talents in New Orleans. Sexual Thunder! recently performed at Shorty Fest, while Sexy Dex himself, Dexter Gilmore, took to the Jazz Fest stage to perform with Naughty Professor. 

 

The party will kick off at 8PM, and goes until midnight. 

 

Tickets can be purchased from Krewe du Santé here

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt


B. E. Mintz


Stephen Babcock

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