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    16th AIDS/LifeCycle Rolls in More Than $15.1 Million in the Fight Against HIV

     

    Mighty cyclists numbering 2,226 at this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle, the world’s largest single-event fundraiser related to HIV/AIDS, raised more than $15.1 million dollars. Helped by 683 volunteer “roadies,” the cyclists over the 7-day, 545-mile journey pedaled in money that supports the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

    “The commitment that AIDS/LifeCycle participants demonstrate to raising awareness and funds for HIV-related services is awe-inspiring,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner. “Without their drive, compassion and determination, our goals of reducing new HIV transmissions and increasing the health and lifespan of those living with HIV would be out of reach. I am proud to ride along these heroes as I participate as a cyclist in my first AIDS/LifeCycle.”

    Yet another participant was our friend Peter Zimmerman, who is the Associate Director of Marketing for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. He provided many of the photos on this page, and aced the ride.

    It is sobering to think that, during the seven days it took Zimmerman and the other riders to reach Los Angeles from San Francisco, more than 500 people in the United States became infected with HIV. One out of every eight people living with HIV nationwide is not aware of their status. Since 2002, when AIDS/LifeCycle first began, participants have raised more than $236 million and completed more than 58,000 bike journeys.

    “We’re living in unsettling times when the health care of many Americans, including those living with HIV/AIDS, is at stake,” said Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “That’s why we’re more grateful than ever for the heroes—and sheroes—of AIDS/LifeCycle … They’re supporting the Center’s many HIV/AIDS-related services, including the free or low-cost health services of our Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and our vanguard work to protect people from infection.”

    Despite remarkable progress that has been made since the disease was first discovered in 1981, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. Currently there are 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS nationwide and an estimated 39,000 will become infected this year. AIDS/LifeCycle (http://www.aidslifecycle.org/) therefore remains as vital as ever. The 2018 ride will take place June 3–9, so if you’re a bit rusty on your bike, now is the time to start working up to the rewarding challenge.


    Big Turnout for This Year’s AIDS Walk

    On Sunday, July 16, thousands of people filled Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow for AIDS Walk San Francisco. They came to support those living with HIV/AIDS, to rally against the Senate’s healthcare repeal bill, and to enjoy this always enjoyable and meaningful event. The organizers were grateful for the turnout, which was significantly larger than last year’s event.

    The efforts raised $2 million for Positive Resource Center, Project Open Hand, Ward 86 at UCSF, and many other Bay Area AIDS service organizations. Fundraising walkers gained access to AIDS Walk San Francisco’s brand new and fabulously fierce Post-Walk Show, which was hosted by Carson Kressley. It featured performances by stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as Estelle and Frenchie Davis.

    It’s not too late for participants to add to their counts and to earn the organization’s coveted fundraising awards. The funds must come in by August 11, however. For more information or to make a donation (which you can do year-round), please visit: sf.aidswalk.net

    In other fundraiser outdoor adventure news, Miles for Melanoma will take place at Golden Gate Park on July 29. Hosted by the Melanoma Research Foundation and nationally presented by Bristol-Myers Squibb, the event helps to spread awareness and to fuel support for the fight against what is known as the deadliest and fastest growing form of skin cancer.

    Participants will meet at the Music Concourse/Bandshell to participate in a 5K run/walk geared towards raising funds to research, education and advocacy. Check-in and registration will start at 7:45 am with the run/walk kicking off at 9 am. Non-Competitive (Untimed) Runners and Walkers can participate for free, while Competitive (Timed) Runners pay an entrance fee of $30. For additional details, go to: http://join.melanoma.org/site/TR?fr_id=1400&pg=entry