A pop-up restaurant in Toronto is trying to change the way people think about HIV.
For two days — Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 — people who dined at June’s HIV+ Eatery were served food cooked only by those who have the virus (with a little help and training from chef Matt Basile of the Lisa Marie bar in Toronto). The purpose of the restaurant was to show people that HIV is not as easily transmitted as some may think — and especially not through food.
The 14 chefs wore aprons with phrases like “Judge the cooking, not the cook” and “Think you can get HIV from food? Bite me.”
The restaurant, which opened thanks to Toronto’s specialty HIV and AIDS hospital Casey’s House, sold out tickets both nights, which cost $125 a seat for a four-course dinner.
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“For many people living with HIV, it’s the stigma that hurts the most,” the press release reads. “June’s HIV+ Eatery is an opportunity to fight stigma with every bite. To come together in a show of love, support and acceptance, and to dispel the myths about HIV that condemn so many to suffer in silence.”
While the pop-up restaurant is now closed, people can still make a donation to show their support.