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    Pedaling With Puro Pinche Papi

    By AIDS/LifeCycle–

    Charlie Arreola and Alfredo Trejo III are participating in AIDS/LifeCycle this year as part of the team Puro Pinche Papi, one of a handful of BIPOC-led teams that center the lives and experiences of Riders and Roadies who are people of color. 

    While HIV rates have largely declined across all groups within the United States, the virus still affects Black and Brown communities inequitably. In a first-ever comprehensive analysis of lifetime risk of HIV infection rates, the CDC reported that as many as one in two gay and bisexual Black and one in four gay and bisexual Hispanic men will contract HIV. For white gay and bisexual men, the rate is much, much lower: 1 in 11. The disparity is striking.

    Charlie had been riding in AIDS/LifeCycle for four years, and it’s his identity as a Latinx rider that pushed him to participate initially. He wanted to go out to his community using his involvement in AIDS/LifeCycle as a conversation starter for meaningful discussion about HIV and sexual health. “Especially first generation Latinx communities, our families didn’t talk to us about sex,” Charlie says. 

    Members of Puro Pinche Papi crossing the 2022 AIDS/LifeCycle finish line in Los Angeles.
    Photo by AIDS LIFE/CYCLE

    AIDS/LifeCycle had been so important to Charlie’s life that he actually brought up the topic on his first date with Alfredo just before the pandemic struck. As a Latinx person living with HIV who maintains an undetectable viral load, Alfredo was also moved by the impact of AIDS/LifeCycle. He wanted his community to be represented, so it didn’t take long for Alfredo to become excited about also joining Charlie in 2022. 

    In fact, Charlie and Alfredo’s relationship grew stronger when practice rides through Pasadena, Alhambra, Playa del Rey, and Palos Verdes became romantic dates. They had an idea to found a BIPOC team, now named Puro Pinche Papi (

    “It’s not just about cycling, though,” Alfredo admits candidly. “The cycling becomes a way to introduce our communities to topics such as U=U and PrEP.” 

    Puro Pinche Papi has four riders from San Francisco, 11 from Los Angeles, and 12 who are first-time riders.

    AIDS/LifeCycle  is co-produced by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

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    Published on December 21, 2023