Courtesy AIDS Action Committee–
BOSTON–AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection, announced that it raised more than $800,000 by the day of its annual AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run and that it is confident it will raise $1 million once day of receipts are tallied.
The 27th annual, 6.2-mile AIDS Walk Boston attracted more than 10,000 participants, slightly more than last year, along with 850 runners for the Larry Kessler 5K Run. The Walk and Run snaked through Boston’s Back Bay and Brookline in an effort to raise awareness of the need to continue outreach, education, and prevention efforts to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. [To view all of the photos visit: http://on.fb.me/JXiJq0]
“We are so grateful to our walkers, runners and hundreds of volunteers, many of whom contribute each year, who make this event so successful. Their efforts ensure that those most vulnerable in our community will have access to the vital services and support that they need. Since 1999, these services have helped reduced the number of new HIV infections in the state by 54 percent, which will save the state more than $2 billion in health care costs,” said Rebecca Haag, President & CEO ofAAC. “We also want to remind people that there is still time to donate online or through the mail to help us reach our goal. This money is vital to funding our policy work, client services, and outreach and prevention—all of which is needed to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.”
The number of people known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts increased by 42% from 2000 to 2010; during the same period new HIV diagnoses decreased by 45%. Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics make up only 6% of the total population, but non-Hispanic blacks account for 29% of those living with HIV/AIDS, and Hispanics account for 25% of those living with HIV/AIDS. Among those recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts, male-to-male sex is the leading reported cause of exposure, accounting for four out of 10 new diagnoses.
The first AIDS Walk was held in 1986; 4,000 participants raised $325,000. The AIDS Walk was one of the first fundraising walks in the country. The 5K run was added in 2001 to open up fundraising to runners while also introducing participants who may not have a personal connection to HIV/AIDS but who want to do a 5K. Historically AAC’s largest fundraising event, it has raised nearly $38 million for programs and services to support those living with and at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.
Corporate sponsors of this year’s AIDS Walk and 5K Run included MOMS Pharmacy, Brystol-Myers Squibb, Whole Foods Market, EMD Serono, EMD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The TJX Companies, Inc., Partners HealthCare, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, State Street, Eastern Bank, Abt Associates, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. This year’s media sponsors included WCVB-TV 5, JAM’N 95.5 FM, WFNX 101.7 FM, El Planeta, KISS 108 FM, and The Boston Phoenix. The VIP Breakfast Sponsor was Boloco.
Filed Under: Eastern NE News