This World AIDS Day, as we continued to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a historic gift from Fred Says — a Chicago-based charity founded by HIV-positive doctor Rob Garofalo — reminds us that there is another pandemic that requires our commitment. Named in honor of Dr. Garofalo’s dog Fred, the charity will give more than $200K in charitable donations to organizations in Chicago, across the U.S., and in other parts of the world that address the timely and specific needs of young people living with HIV. This year’s gift — by far the organization’s largest to date — announces Fred Says on the philanthropic world stage and honors the passing of Fred, who was integral in coping with Dr. Garofalo’s own HIV diagnosis 10 years ago.
“Fred may no longer be by my side, but what will follow in his memory is a movement he inspired,” says Garofalo. “A focus on supporting HIV-positive young people is essential to curb the spread of HIV and make the world a better place for future generations.”
Dr. Rob Garofalo is a pediatrician and the Head of the Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He is also a professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Fienberg School of Medicine where he is a national authority on LGBTQ+ health issues, adolescent sexuality, and HIV clinical care and prevention.