Mayor Walsh Announces Boston’s Participation in Global Fast-Track Cities Initiative at AIDS Walk

AIDS Walk & Run BostonThis year's AIDS Walk & Run Boston took place Sunday, June 4.
Photo: Marilyn Humphries
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BOSTON― At this Sunday’s 32nd annual AIDS Walk & Run Boston, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will announce Boston’s commitment to join the Fast-Track Cities Initiative. In doing so, Boston will become the 12th city in the United States to join the global campaign to end the transmission of HIV. The other U.S. cities are Atlanta; Baltimore; Denver; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Providence, RI; San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Fast-Track Cities commit to taking the necessary public health, social justice, and access to healthcare initiatives to ensure that by 2020 90 percent of city residents living with HIV are aware of their status; 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment are virally suppressed.

“It is incredibly exciting that the city of Boston will join the nearly 60 cities from 50 counties who’ve signed on to the Fast-Track Initiative to end the transmission of HIV. Our state has been a national leader in fighting AIDS since the early day of the epidemic, and Boston has been a leader in our state,” said AIDS Action Executive Director Carl Sciortino. “It is fitting that Mayor Walsh will make this announcement at AIDS Walk & Run Boston, which is the single largest HIV and AIDS awareness event in New England. Public awareness and education will be key to the city’s efforts to end the transmission of HIV in Boston, and at a time when our president is proposing deep cuts to long established public health and social justice programs, it is deeply encouraging to see Mayor Walsh step forward to lead this effort.”

“Fighting the stigma around HIV and AIDS is something every single person can do,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “We need to make it clear that we support those who are affected, and that’s why I’m proud Boston is signing on to become a Fast-Track City. I want to thank each and every person who has stepped up, and spoken out, to support this vital work.”

The AIDS Walk & Run Boston will take place Sunday, June 4, 2017 at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade. The event regularly draws thousands of participants, making it AIDS Action Committee’s largest annual fundraiser. The Walk is 4.85 miles. The 5K Run is a competitive, timed event fully sanctioned by the USA Track & Field Association.

The AIDS Walk & Run Boston will begin and end at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade. Registration and check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. After opening ceremonies at 9 a.m., the 5K Run begins at 9:50 a.m. and the Walk sets off at 10 a.m. WCVB-TV Eye Opener Newscaster Randy Price will emcee the event, which also includes a Wellness Festival, presented by Whole Foods Market, a post-walk celebration of healthy living.

There is still time to register for the AIDS Walk & Run Boston at www.aidswalkboston.org. There is neither a registration fee nor a minimum fundraising requirement to participate in the Walk. Registration for the Run has closed.

Corporate sponsors of this year’s AIDS Walk & Run Boston include The TJX Companies, Inc., Macy’s, Whole Foods Market, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Walgreens, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Facebook, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Merck, Converse, Eastern Bank, Gilead Sciences, Abt Associates, EMD Serono, Partners Healthcare, Patriot Care,  CamCare, Neighborhood Health Plan, ViiV Healthcare, Planned Parenthood, Pfizer, Inc., and JetBlue. In addition to WCVB-TV, this year’s media sponsors are Kiss 108, JAM’N 94.5, 101.7 The Bull, and Yelp.

AIDS Action will support AIDS Walk & Run Boston with a robust social media outreach and fundraising plan. Walkers can fundraise through their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Follow @AIDSWalkBoston and the hashtag #AIDSWalkBoston for information about HIV/AIDS and the AIDS Walk & Run Boston.

Facts About HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts

–Between 2000 and 2014, the number of people living HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts increased 56%, placing substantial demands on existing prevention and treatment programs.

–Blacks make up only 6% of the state’s population, but they comprise 30% of those living with HIV/AIDS.

–Hispanics make up only 10% of the state’s population, but they comprise 25% of those living with HIV/AIDS.

–The proportion of new HIV infection diagnoses among gay and bisexual men increased from 38% in 2005 to 46% in 2014.

About AIDS Walk Boston & 5K Run

The AIDS Walk was first held in 1986 and is one of the first fundraising 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 $39 million for programs and services to support those living with and at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. 

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people living with and at risk of HIV/AIDS. AIDS Action works to stop the epidemic by eliminating new infections; maximizing healthier outcomes of those infected and at risk; and tackling the root causes of HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action is New England’s oldest and largest AIDS service organization, advocating for the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and promoting fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. In 2013, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts entered into a strategic partnership with Fenway Health, allowing both organizations to improve delivery of care and services across the state and beyond.

[From a News Release]

 

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1 Comment on "Mayor Walsh Announces Boston’s Participation in Global Fast-Track Cities Initiative at AIDS Walk"

  1. In his proclamation let’s hope the Mayor is joined by other Mayors in the Metro Hub to make an announcement. Let’s hope they are joined by the area universities that attract thousands of young people here from wealthy families throughout the world and the teaching hospitals who make millions and millions in surplus funds each year from their non-profit tax status. We want to hear a commitment to a fund that underwrites the $300,000 being slashed from the AIDS Action budget by the state DPH for the well being and prevention of HIV among street youth populations.

    $300,000 picks up the street youth HIV cuts this year by the state DPH for Aids Action.

    $300,000 can help save the lives of hundreds of kids, alone on the street without families or hope.

    Let’s get real fellas. HIV is rising again in every demographic. Street Youth are easy targets for needle use drug hustlers and those trading unsafe housing for sex.

    Meantime:
    $300,000 is the cost of sending fifteen people to conferences or half the cost for the city Department of Health to host a conference.
    $300,000 is the tuition from 5 wealthy students out of the thousands your school brings to Boston or a <5% of your marketing budget in China.
    $300,000 is the cost of one surgery.

    Now I haven't bugged any of your organizations for money since Fenway Health was a tiny STD center, HIV didn't have a name, LGBTQ people didn't have any rights and we were audacious enough to build a real health center anyway. So I hope you have the decency to not only put your name on a banner and a program for this walk, but that you show up at the AIDS walk with your pledge to save that HIV street youth program run by AIDS Action when DPH slashes the funds. It's the right thing to do.

    So come out for a walk, join the festivities and celebrate our gains against this horrible disease. Then make a pledge to make a difference for a kid who can't go home.

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