People we love are dying.

Since HIV/AIDS appeared in the 1980s thousands of New Yorkers and tens of millions around the world have been devastated by these infections. They are spread by sharing needles, unprotected sex, and childbirth, but the biggest contributor to infection is ignorance.

Only through candid conversations about the reality of these diseases can we hope to stop their spread. Only by constantly re-engaging these difficult discussions can we stop this from dismantling more lives. In 2015 it’s possible to live with these infections and build a life with little or no interruption thanks to the tireless work of organizations like amfAR whose research has done so much to change the way we treat these diseases.

Science has changed a lot since 1994, when my Father was taken by this illness. I was only 10 years old. And, I lost him. My family lost him, and it was entirely avoidable. This path doesn't have to be walked by anyone else... not anymore. "New York Is For Lovers" is our collective effort to put these illnesses behind us, and to inspire those who are living with it every day.

PUMA has proven the ideal partner for this project of awareness. Where many other brands were confused or turned off by the aggressive and honest nature of what we wanted to say, PUMA rightfully saw the unique potential for an important conversation centered around the idea that we can help.

Together, we are making a $15,000 donation to amfAR that is not tied to sales, proceeds, or percentages. For us it's not a way to flash PR on our shoes or our brand. Instead we’re using the social force of footwear collaborations as a tool to lift others up away from the fate that millions have already found, and change the path of those already there.

"I love New York" is more than just a slogan for shopping bags, it’s a way of life. To love New York is to love New Yorkers, all New Yorkers. Every banker, busker, and bus boy. By educating each other and looking at these issues honestly and seriously we are fighting to erase stigma, empower our friends, and remember the ones we’ve lost. To really know someone is to love them. We invite you to know those engaged with us in this fight.

– Chase Ceparano
   Co-Founder – RISE
   (Twitter/Instagram: @Peso_NYC)

>>> RISE for PUMA "New York Is For Loverswill release on Tuesday, December 1st – World AIDS Day – inside our Pop-Up location at 345 Broome Street in NYC.

>>> Pairs will be available at 8PM EST on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.

>>> Remaining inventory will be available via at 12:01AM EST on Wednesday, December 2nd.

>>> Available in Men's sizes 5 US to 12 US & 13 US. Retail is set at $145USD.