Social psychological theory is not often extended into real-world social contexts. In contrast, the current work applies the concept of increasing the accessibility of the private self (Trafimow, Triandis, & Goto, 1991) to a real-world situation; namely, helping people with AIDS. The current results show that priming the private self increases actual helping behaviors directed toward victims of AIDS as compared to a no-prime condition. Furthermore, path analyses show that empathy mediates the prime-helping relationship. No significant gender differences were observed in self-reports of empathy toward victims of AIDS, but women generally volunteered to help more than men.