BOSTON, Mass.—More than 10,000 walkers and runners are expected to take part in this Sunday’s 28th annual AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run. Congressman Joe Kennedy of the Fourth Congressional District and State Representative Jeffrey Sánchez of Jamaica Plain will attend the opening ceremonies and address participants.
The Walk & 5K Run is AIDS Action’s largest annual fundraiser and expected to raise $1 million to support the services offered by the agency to people living with HIV. The Walk is 6.2-miles long. The 5K Run is a competitive, timed event. The AIDS Walk & 5K Run will begin and end at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. Registration and check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. The Walk begins at 10 a.m.; the 5K Run begins at 9:50 a.m.
WCVB-TV Eye Opener Newscaster Randy Price will emcee the event, which also includes a Wellness Festival. The event will also include performances by All Good Feel Good Collective, Static Noyze Dance Company, The Floor Lords Crew, and Playhouse Pride.
“The money raised by AIDS Walk and 5K Run participants is critical to our ability to connect people with health care, peer support, counseling, free HIV testing, housing and fuel assistance, and legal services,” said Rebecca Haag, President & CEO of AIDS Action, who walks each year and contributes personally to every AIDS Action employee who walks or runs. “We urge everyone in the Boston area to join us or donate to the thousands of walkers and runners who do participate. Since 1999, we have helped reduce new HIV diagnoses in Massachusetts by 53 percent. This means that nearly 6,000 people who might otherwise have become HIV positive have remained negative, and the state will save more than $2 billion in HIV-related health care costs.” [pullquote]“The money raised by AIDS Walk and 5K Run participants is critical to our ability to connect people with health care, peer support, counseling, free HIV testing, housing and fuel assistance, and legal services,” said Rebecca Haag, President & CEO of AIDS Action.[/pullquote]
Facts About HIV/AIDS
–Between FY 2000 and FY 2013, the budget for HIV/AIDS has decreased 38% from $51.7 million to $32.1 million.
–Between 2000 and 2012, the number of people living HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts increased 44%, placing substantial demands on existing prevention and treatment programs.
–In 2010, just over half (52%) of all HIV infection diagnoses in the state occurred among men who reported male-to-male sex as the way they were exposed to HIV; that is up from 45% of men newly diagnosed with HIV reporting male-to-male sex as their exposure mode in 2002.
–11% of HIV infection diagnoses in MA from 2008 to 2010 were of adolescents and young adults age 13-24.
–Blacks make up only 6% of the state’s population, but they comprise 30% of those living with HIV/AIDS in MA.
–Hispanics make up only 8% of the state’s population, but they comprise 24% of those living with HIV/AIDS in MA.
–As of 2012, male-to-male sex and injection drug use were the leading reported exposure modes for HIV infection for those living with HIV/AIDS in MA accounting for 36% and 20% of all exposures, respectively.
Facts About AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run
The AIDS Walk was first held in 1986 and is one of the first walks to be introduced in Boston, as well as the country. The 5K Run was added to open up fundraising to runners. Historically AAC’s largest fundraising event, it has raised over $38 million for programs and services to support those living with and at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.
About AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. Learn more at www.aac.org.