WE LOVE SOAPS TV: 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 TV: 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.
Editor's Note: If you want to learn how to get involved with HIV vaccine trials, please go to Hopetakesaction.org or email Damon at Shouldless@gmail.com