Today is the 25th Annual AIDS Walk In New York
Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $105 million for HIV programs and services and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2009, 45,000 participants raised a record sum of $5.6 million for GMHC and 50 other local AIDS service organizations.
The AIDS Walk began at 10 a.m. in Central Park this morning. It is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and the event will last approximately 2-3 hours. A Post-walk concert will be performed at 12:30 with results announced this afternoon at 3pm.
GMHC began in 1981 by six men united together against fear and death from a disease then known as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Today, they are the world’s leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy. Their mission is to fight to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.
According to the organization, AIDS awareness is down as new infections are up. They encourage everyone to Respect Yourself and Protect Yourself.
Knowing your HIV status is very important. If you test negative, you can take steps to remain negative by educating yourself about safer sex practices. If you test positive, you can take steps to prevent the spread of the virus to your partner(s).
Know your partner's HIV status!
Whenever possible, knowing your partner's HIV status will help you make decisions about the level of risk you feel comfortable with. With this knowledge you and your partner can choose methods that reduce your chances of HIV transmission.
Learn about available barrier methods (male and female condoms, dental dams, etc.). The consistent and proper use of condoms has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of HIV and other STD transmission.
Get regular exams and STD checks!
If you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, it is easier to get HIV. If left untreated, these diseases have other significant health implications, particularly for women.
Reduce other high risk activities!
All alcohol and drug use impairs your judgment and puts you at risk for HIV transmission.