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Atlanta’s ‘Team Friendly’ aims to destroy HIV stigma

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UPDATE: Team Friendly Atlanta will hold its official launch "Drop the Soap" event on Saturday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Jungle that is also a fundraiser for Lost-n-Found. Organizers are asking people to bring personal hygiene products to donate to Lost-n-Found including disposable razors, shaving cream and deoderant.

There will be a $5 suggested donation and an auction. People will have the chance to "wash down" local celebrities including leathermen Sir Ben and Joeboy, DJ Diablo Rojo, Chandler Bearden, leatherboy Dana Prosser, aerialist Melissa Coffey and porn star Charlie Harding.

In the past few weeks, a new organization dedicated to eliminating HIV stigma has been spotted in local gay bars and gay events and has organized outreach efforts with MISTER, the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Lost-n-Found, the group that helps homeless LGBT youth.

Named Team Friendly Atlanta, the all-volunteer organization is headed up by Randy Prophater who said he wanted to give back to his community. A recovering crystal meth addict who was diagnosed with HIV in 2004, Prophater, who is gay, said he felt there was not enough taking place in various organizations about tackling HIV stigma head on. A trip to a dentist's office also put into perspective the discrimination people with HIV continue to face, he said.

Team Friendly Atlanta is currently seeking to gain its official 501(c)3 status and has about 40 members and will conduct its first official outreach this weekend.

Prophater (in a relationship with G-Man, who was Interntional Mr. Rubber in 2011 and Mr. Southeast Rubber for 2010/2011) answered a few questions ahead of the outreach effort.