Episode 12: Breaking Ground in the South ft. Amanda Keller and Lauren Jacobs

Queer History Lesson of the Day

‘Tis the season! And I’m not talking about the holidays but AIDS/LifeCycle!! AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) is a fully supported fundraiser in early June that started in 1993 at the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Originally known as the for-profit event “California AIDS Ride,” ALC is a 7-day, 545-ish from San Francisco to Los Angeles where thousands of cyclists and volunteers fundraise and donate to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA LGBT Center. Also known as the “love bubble,” ALC’s mission includes the following:

  1. Fund the work of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free HIV/AIDS medical care, testing, and prevention services.

  2. Raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

  3. Provide a positive, life affirming experience for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

  4. Grow our community of activists, volunteers, and ambassadors fighting to end AIDS.

  5. Honor those who have passed from AIDS-related causes.

Here’s KB last year at the halfway point!


What started out as less than 20 cyclists has now become over 2500 cyclists biking the coastline every year. The majority of the original riders have since died of AIDS related complications. So every year, people keep riding. People will continue to ride until HIV/AIDS is exterminated.

Each cyclist is required to raise $3000, however, the majority of individuals go above and beyond. So far, the top fundraiser of 2019 has a bank of almost $100,000!! “Roadies,” also known as volunteers, typically raise hundreds of thousands of dollars with no minimum requirement. Roadies consist of medical team, massage therapists, PTs, food service, bathroom duty, camp set up, camp break down, route cleaning, route scoping, and so much more. I mean, the volunteers are endless and make it so every rider arrives back in Los Angeles as safely as possible.

This year KB and Queer MEDucation will be riding roadie style as part of the Medical Team!! For more information about AIDS/LifeCycle click here.


Magic City Acceptance Center is the first LGBTQI and nonbinary youth center in Alabama. It was founded in 2014 as an extension of Birmingham AIDS Outreach as a response to increased rates of HIV/AIDS in youth populations. Today, we chat with co-founder and director, Amanda Keller and Youth Outreach Coordinator, Lauren Jacobs about the dedicated, passionate, and strong community of Birmingham. Keep scrolling for more information about upcoming events, links to social media, and Amanda and Lauren’s bios.


Show Notes

CDC Statistics

HIV Diagnoses

In 2017:

  • The South made up 52% (19,968) of the new HIV diagnoses in the US, followed by the West (7,270; 19%), the Northeast (6,011; 16%), and the Midwest (5,032; 13%). US dependent areas made up 458 (1%) of new HIV diagnoses.

  • The rates (per 100,000 people) of HIV diagnoses were 16.1 in the South, 12.3 in the US dependent areas, 10.6 in the Northeast, 9.4 in the West, and 7.4 in the Midwest.

From 2012 to 2016:

HIV diagnoses remained stable in the US, although some decreases were seen in regions with fewer diagnoses.

  • US dependent areas: Decreased 27%.

  • Northeast: Decreased 17%.

  • Midwest: Decreased 6%.

  • South: Remained stable.

  • West: Remained stable.

Southern states accounted for approximately 46% of all people with HIV at the end of 2015. States reporting the highest rates of people with HIV are predominantly in the South and the Northeast.


HIV in the United States by Region



Meet Magic City Acceptance Center!

Check out more videos YouTube Channel

Meet Amanda Keller, Director, Magic City Acceptance Center


Amanda Keller is the founding director of the Magic City Acceptance Center in Birmingham, Al. Amanda attended The Ohio State University and graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Since moving to Alabama, she has dedicated herself to decreasing HIV infections through both her professional life and as a volunteer. She spent four years at Birmingham AIDS Outreach where the Magic City Acceptance Center was eventually born. As founding director, she has exceeded all expectations and continues to dedicate herself to the health and well being of LGBTQI and nonbinary people in Alabama.

Meet Lauren Jacobs, Youth Outreach Coordinator, Magic City Acceptance Center


Lauren Jacobs, a native of Birmingham, Al, is the Youth Outreach Coordinator at the Magic City Acceptance Center. Lauren graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa with a degree in telecommunication and film. According to Alabama Bound Film Co, “she contributed to various documentary projects, including a half-hour television show Alabama Art Seen, which profiled artists living and working in Alabama and aired on WVUA-TV. Lauren served as a leader of UA's LGBTQ student group Spectrum, helping to coordinate the Southeastern LGBTQ Student Conference in 2013, which brought together LGBTQ students from high schools and universities from across the region.” Her passion for LGBTQI and nonbinary outreach evolved into a professional career at Birmingham AIDS Outreach and Magic City Acceptance Center.

Upcoming Events

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Magic City Wellness Center

Check out the medical services

Schedule an appointment

Support medical services

How to Support Magic City Acceptance Center

Amazon Wish List

Friends of the Magic City Acceptance Center Facebook


Other Resources in Birmingham, AL

TAKE Resource Center-Trans Women of Color

Birmingham AIDs Outreach

the hub-Young MSM/MSMW of Color

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