EndHIV's Video Release Party

Hornet Sponsored EndHIV’s Video Release Party for Sia’s ‘Free Me’

This post is also available in: French

Gay social networking app Hornet sponsored a release party for the #endHIV campaign, a project of the Abzyme Research Foundation, for the music video of new Sia track “Free Me.” The Abzyme Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 to harness the technology already developed to bring an HIV vaccine to human trials, and ultimately to patients.

Sia’s newest moving ballad, “Free Me,” will benefit #endHIV with 100% of its proceeds set to fund the production of the aforementioned vaccine.

Guests at the event enjoyed the “HornetStinger,” a drink that has revived the traditional Italian Aperol Spritz. Hornet has been serving Aperol at many of their events, reminding the gay community why it’s such a timeless classic and should always be behind the bar.

hornet stinger

The event previewed Sia’s captivating music video, directed by Blake Martin, produced by Kimberly Stuckwisch and executive produced by Ian Blair with Diktator. Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, Zoe Saldana plays an expecting mother who finds out she is HIV-positive. Saldana’s brave performance puts a human face on the reality that many women face in the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The video follows Saldana’s character and her range of emotions, illustrated by a touching dance sequence choreographed by Ryan Heffington.

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one that can affect anyone, particularly child-bearing women around the globe,” says Sia. “I’ve proudly joined forces with the Abzyme Research Foundation and the #endHIV Campaign for the release of my song, ‘Free Me,’ to help raise funds and awareness for a potential breakthrough cure of the epidemic.”

Details on the #endHIV campaign:

The proceeds from “Free Me” will go directly to the #endHIV Campaign, where funds will be used to advance a new potential HIV/AIDS cure to human clinical trials.

The #endHIV Campaign is a project of the Abzyme Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2011 to harness the technology already developed to bring an HIV vaccine to human trials, and ultimately to patients.

100% of all donations will fund the production of the vaccine to the FDA’s exacting standards. This step is the #endHIV Campaign’s most expensive obstacle to obtaining permission to advance to human trials from the FDA.

The development of an HIV vaccine is still the most promising intervention to significantly reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and save lives.


What did you think of EndHIV’s video release party? Have you listened to Sia’s new track “Free Me”? Let us know by commenting below!

  • Richard Jefferys

    The scientists this money is going to have failed to convince their scientific peers that their work has any promise, despite receiving multiple government grants to support their research. They haven’t published a scientific paper on the approach since 2014.

    The goodwill of people who want to do something about HIV is being cynically exploited by these scientists – they are now making scientific claims to the public (not scientist peers) because the public is not qualified to evaluate them.

  • Richard Jefferys

    The lead scientist Sudhir Paul has patents on the approach and is a principal in the for-profit company Covalent Biosciences that is supposed to make the vaccine. It’s not actually clear to me at this point if a vaccine exists that could be given to people if funds for a clinical trial were successfully raised.

    A vaccine candidate of some kind was apparently given to macaques (I believe these experiments were supported by government grants), but the results have never been published so the taxpayers who funded the work have no way of knowing what happened.

    But the public fundraising goes on, as do the claims about the potential efficacy of the approach.