We Love Soaps: I am here with the one, the only, the beautiful, the sensational, the gorgeous, Ilene Kristen! I wasn’t sure we would get to see you tonight.
Ilene Kristen: I came to see everybody perform, that was wonderful. And to support the cause which is so important.
We Love Soaps: And that is one thing I admire about you is how much you support this cause, often in ways that we don’t see publicly. How have HIV/AIDS causes become so important to you?
Ilene Kristen: Fortunately, people are now living with AIDS and not dying of AIDS. I lost so many people. Forty or fifty people, and really close friends. I have friends that are living it now and doing really well. So obviously the money must mean something. I know we don’t hear about a lot of other cases. But all the news, from what I’ve been seeing and feeling, is pretty good. But we have got to keep on raising money.
We Love Soaps: For someone who has been so active for so many years with this cause, it’s optimistic for me to hear you say you have seen some changes.
Ilene Kristen: I have. When people were given AZT something told me it was not going to work, that AZT was not going to work. It was very discouraging. Because I knew that anyone who had been on AZT was not going to have long. People I knew who weren’t on medication were doing much better. They did these health purges and all sorts of stuff. Then when the cocktail [protease inhibitors] came along, I’ve been seeing extraordinary stuff. Like non-detectable loads. So far the news is good. I hope.
We Love Soaps: I hope so too. I’m actually working now for an agency that is conducting HIV Vaccine trials here and across the Unites States. We are very hopeful, cautiously optimistic. On a lighter note, we are so excited that you have agreed to appear at our We Love Soaps Weekend coming up [May 21-23].
Ilene Kristen: Absolutely.
We Love Soaps: What are you most excited about for that weekend?
Ilene Kristen: That people show up [laughs], and that we have a great audience. And that it doesn’t rain.
We Love Soaps: That part I can’t control. But I know our readers are the coolest people anywhere!
Ilene Kristen: I’m so excited that you guys are doing all of this. To see you in the rooms like this as part of all the other press excites me more than I can tell you.
We Love Soaps: I’m gonna cry to hear you say that...
Ilene Kristen: Because you’re living out a dream here, obviously. And that’s the most amazing thing. To be able to set a goal, say, “This is what I want to do,” and do it. [To Roger] I’m thinking about when we worked on MANHATTANITES and you weren’t doing any of this and then all of a sudden. I think you guys are going to become important—you already are becoming important. All too often people get scared. I sometimes get scared of doing certain things I’ve been meaning to do. But this is a very positive thing, it’s really wonderful.
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like to learn more ways to take action against the spread of HIV/AIDS, and want to learn more about the current HIV Vaccine Clinical Trials, please visit Hope Takes Action, or contact Damon at Jacobs@welovesoaps.net.
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