PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | On a Sunday in Central Park where participants were given an option of a 10k walk or a 5k run, 20,000 people joined in the annual AIDS Walk New York and raised more than $4.4 million to benefit Gay Men’s Health Crisis and dozens of other HIV service organizations in the tri-state area. In the event’s more than three decades, more than $150 million has been raised to combat HIV and AIDS and support those living with the virus.
“New Yorkers once again demonstrated their unwavering compassion for people living with HIV/ AIDS,” said Kelsey Louie, the group’s CEO. “Today we assembled in massive numbers and raised vital funds that will help GMHC continue to be a national leader in the response to HIV/AIDS, while moving our community closer to our goal of ending the epidemic by 2020. With an increase in new infections among women, threats to life-saving health care for those living with HIV and other chronic conditions, and a national climate that is increasingly hostile to at-risk populations, many challenges lie ahead of us.”
Event founder Craig R. Miller, said, “There’s an alarming trend against truth coming out of Washington, DC, these days, but here in New York, facts still matter. While the current administration chooses to ignore the fact that AIDS remains a serious threat in this and other communities, those who participated in AIDS Walk New York today, raising $4,416,919, continue to be loud, strong, and determined.”