Andy Cohen was honored by the American Foundation for AIDS Research on Tuesday (16 June) and the occasion led him to reflect on the fear he felt when arriving in New York City 25 years ago.
‘When I moved to New York City in 1990, I was so excited to be here I didn’t get much sleep,’ he said while accepting the amfAR Award of Inspiration.
‘I was a gay 22-year-old taking advantage of everything the city had to offer and I was also terrified. I was really terrified that I was going to get sick and die.’
It would be another half-decade before life-saving Protease inhibitors became available to those infected with HIV.
‘Gay men everywhere were dying in droves. It seemed like a forgone conclusion,’ said Cohen, host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.
‘What’s different 25 years later is that we have powerful drugs that are keeping people alive, allowing people with HIV to live a relatively normal lifespan. But what hasn’t changed is that today, gay men are still disproportionately affected by HIV.’
Cohen was honored at the 6th Annual amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York along with Miley Cyrus. His best friend, Anderson Cooper, hosted the event and Sandra Bernhard presented Cohen with his award.