Red Ribbon Dance Project to Raise Funds for AIDS Research at UC San Diego


August 04, 2011  |  

The AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine will hold its third annual Red Ribbon Dance Project on Thursday, September 8.

The event will held at The Abbey, 2825 Fifth Avenue, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and will feature choreographer/dancers Traves Butterworth, Butterworth Dance Company; Kate Hutter, LA. Contemporary Dance Company; classical and Indian folk dancer Manasi Khidkikar; and Michael Mizerany, Malashock Dance.  A silent auction and refreshments are included in the event to raise funds for AIDS research.

Butterworth Dance

Courtesy of Butterworth Dance

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first clinical reports of AIDS which at the time was almost entirely mysterious and invariably fatal,” said Douglas Richman, MD, professor of pathology and medicine and director of the AIDS Research Institute at UC San Diego. “In 1981 – when I and my colleagues first started seeing cases of what came to be called Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS – it was a disease that most often occurred in young, gay men who were referred to the Owen Clinic here at UC San Diego or to the VA San Diego Health System by private doctors or health systems unable to help them.   There were no treatments, and therapies were difficult and, in some cases, ineffective.”

Butterworth recalls that those early years were hard. “When I began my dance career, many dancers and friends were diagnosed with AIDS.   Instead of celebrating their bodies through the art of dance, they were suffering the cruel symptoms that we soon realized would inevitably lead to their death.  I and my fellow dancers want to give something back to the hardworking physicians and researchers who have fought against AIDS for three decades.  At the same time, our dance is a celebration of life – a life without AIDS.”

Butterworth Dance

Courtesy of Butterworth Dance

Richman added, “Today, we know that HIV can affect men, women and children – gay or straight.  The good news is that we have very effective treatments that allow people to live for decades with this chronic condition.  However, it is still a devastating disease that affects more than 33 million people around the world, and will kill nearly 2 million people this year.”

For information about how to help research at the UCSD AIDS Research Institute by participating the September 8 event, go to or phone 858-822-2321.

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Media Contact: Debra Kain, 619-543-6163,

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