Ride Raises $11 Million For Calif. AIDS Services
Posted by pozlife on June 11, 2007
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 10, 2007 – 4:00 pm ET
(Los Angeles, California) This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle has raised more than $11 million for HIV services on its annual 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles – a record amount organizers said.
The money will support HIV/AIDS-related services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
More than 2,300 riders rolled into West Los Angeles Saturday, ending the weeklong ride.
The cyclists rode through eight counties, talking with local residents and media along the way to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and promote HIV prevention.
This year saw participants from 10 countries and 43 states – including a contingent of people living with HIV known as the Positive Pedalers.
“This is an awe-inspiring group of people,” said the L.A. Center’s CEO, Lorri L. Jean who participated in the ride.
“Every single person is an athlete, an activist and a philanthropist. And as we traversed the back roads and city streets of California, we proved our commitment to improving the lives of people with HIV and AIDS and preventing new infections.”
Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation also rode the route again this year.
“In the seven days since we took to the road, I’ve seen a community of deep compassion and joy develop,” said Cloutier.
“Together we overcame physical challenges, exhaustion and the stigma some still attach to AIDS, and together we’ll share that accomplishment with others back home.”
Over the course of the week-long event, the cyclists – sometimes outnumbering the populations of the communities they rode through – were greeted by local residents and by staff and volunteers of AIDS service organizations along the route. Outreach to local communities was supported by the California Office of AIDS.
It is estimated that 151,000 Californians are living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are unaware of their infection.
In California, HIV/AIDS has had a particularly severe effect on the gay community, with more than 74 percent of all cases occurring among gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities, compared with 58 percent of AIDS cases nationally. Communities of color, including gay and bisexual men, have been disproportionately affected as well.
Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com