The sun shined brightly on May 17 as more than 30,000 walkers marched for the 30th annual AIDS Walk New York, the 10-kilometer trek through Central Park that supports the work of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and other local HIV/ AIDS service organizations. According to a GMHC press release, nearly $4.9 million dollars were raised this year.
Among many recognized at the opening ceremony, GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie welcomed Governor Andrew Cuomo, honoring him for his support of New York’s Plan to End AIDS by 2020. Last June, the governor endorsed an initiative advocates urged on him to target a reduction in annual HIV infections by that year from the current level of roughly 3,000 statewide to under 750.
“We are now looking at a new future with a new possibility,” Cuomo said, in a spirited speech. “Where we can now say we’re going to make HIV and AIDS a thing of the past. New York is going to lead the way. The way we did on marriage equality.”
Others in attendance included New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Public Advocate Letitia James, stars of Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You,” Tyne Daly and Montego Glover, and its director, David Hyde Pierce.