Now more than ever, agencies like The Center and other organizations that benefit from the annual AIDS Walk & Run San Diego need our community’s help to continue. These organizations provide food, housing, medical care, legal assistance, transportation, mental health services, and so much more to those living with HIV.
As a volunteer, participant, and current Director of Sexual Health at The San Diego LGBT Community Center, I’ve been involved with AIDS Walk & Run San Diego since 2000. For 20 years, I’ve been committed to raising money and awareness so that life-saving and life-sustaining resources for those living with HIV remain available and accessible. Over the years, I’ve met countless people who have benefited from the money raised during AIDS Walk & Run San Diego, and their admiration and gratitude is incredibly humbling. Many of them were in desperate, dark places with no access to health care, no insurance, and at risk of becoming homeless. Funds raised through AIDS Walk & Run San Diego helped them find case managers, apartments, doctors and — even better — access to employment!
As your readers know, The San Diego LGBT Community Center remains deeply committed to the sexual health and wellness of our community and to #BeTheGeneration that ends HIV. For this reason, we continue to offer HIV testing by appointment, as well as twice a month in our Centre Street parking lot with walk-up and drive-thru options, as one of our Emergency Services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also why we knew that AIDS Walk & Run San Diego had to happen this year.
We’ve heard from so many community members and service partners that AIDS Walk & Run San Diego brings us together and raises funds to fight HIV in our region like no other one-day event. And this year, we’ve expanded the AIDS Walk & Run San Diego from a one-day experience to a weeklong opportunity, taking place from Monday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 27. This expanded event gives individual runners, walkers, and teams a chance to complete their walk or run over the course of a week, at their own pace, and with their own “socially-distant flair.” Our virtual opening ceremonies are planned to livestream on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. and if participants choose to “run or walk the usual route” of AIDS Walk & Run San Diego on the final weekend, they will find exciting and entertaining surprises along the route.
Registration is only $35 and once you register, you can establish a personal fundraising page with your story, a fundraising goal and more. Donations can be processed safely and easily through your page, and you can send personal thank you messages to your family, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors who donate.
Spearheaded by The Center, AIDS Walk & Run San Diego generates much-needed funds to support services for those impacted by HIV today and the 13 organizations that serve them. See the list of last year’s fundraising recipients. This event also promotes invaluable HIV education and the effective tools we now have to combat HIV and prevent its spread. AIDS Walk & Run San Diego remains committed to supporting those efforts, including: HIV testing on at least an annual basis; knowing your HIV status and that of your partner(s); utilizing prevention tools including condoms, PrEP and PEP; and staying connected to medical care and medication to get to and maintain an undetectable viral load for those living with HIV.
Each year, joining together for our AIDS Walk & Run San Diego is a way to remember those we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS and to show the more than 18,000 community members living with HIV that they are not alone. And this year, it is an opportunity for all of us to go outside, get some exercise, and safely be “in community” once again.
By participating in AIDS Walk & Run San Diego, you’ll help local service organizations continue our unrelenting efforts to combat HIV in our community. None of this can be done without your support. We invite everyone to register as a walker, runner, virtual participant, or a team today at www.aidswalksd.org. For more information on AIDS Walk & Run San Diego, please visit www.aidswalksd.org. You can also contact The Center’s Director of Development Ian Johnson at email@example.com or 619-692-2077 x 247.