AIDS Project Los Angeles to Support Gulf Coast AIDS Organizations Affected by Hurricanes with Proceeds from AIDS Walk Los Angeles

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For the first time in its history, APLA will provide cash grants to HIV/AIDS organizations outside of Los Angeles County. The grants will be allocated to three organizations affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: AIDS Alabama, Montrose Clinic of Houston, and NO/AIDS Task Force of New Orleans, which was forced to cancel its own AIDS Walk scheduled for September 25.

More than 25,000 people from across the Los Angeles metropolitan area are expected to hit the streets for AIDS Walk Los Angeles on October 16, 2005 to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and other local AIDS service organizations. For the first time in its history, APLA will provide cash grants to HIV/AIDS organizations outside of Los Angeles County. The grants will be allocated to three organizations affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: AIDS Alabama, Montrose Clinic of Houston, and NO/AIDS Task Force of New Orleans, which was forced to cancel its own AIDS Walk scheduled for September 25.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that there are more than 15,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in hurricane affected areas of Alabama and Louisiana. Statistics for people living with HIV/AIDS in Mississippi are not available by county.

“The one-two punch of Katrina and Rita is uprooting thousands, including people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Craig E. Thompson, APLA's executive director. “We have selected these organizations because we trust local knowledge. We want to put money into the hands of people who can spend it wisely, helping the displaced and rebuilding after the destruction of these hurricanes.”

AIDS Walk Los Angeles is Southern California's largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event and has raised more than $50 million for APLA and other local AIDS organizations. This year's celebrity guests include Rita Moreno (West Side Story, OZ), Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), and others. The AIDS Walk begins and ends at San Vicente Boulevard, between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, in West Hollywood. The 10K (6.2 mile) route passes through the streets of West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles is supported by the generous gifts of corporations and individuals, including Wells Fargo, Hilton Family of Hotels, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, NBC-4, Telemundo, Paramount Studios, Robinsons-May, United Airlines, Clear Channel Radio and Oakwood Corporate Housing. Created and produced by Craig R. Miller / MZA Events, AIDS Walk Los Angeles drew more than 25,000 people and raised nearly $2.9 million in 2004.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to AIDS Walk Los Angeles, please call 213-201-WALK (9255) or visit http://www.aidswalk.net.

AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Founded by four friends in 1982, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach. For more information, visit http://www.apla.org.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles was founded in 1985 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the originator of the AIDS Walk fundraising model and has raised nearly $300 million for leading AIDS charities nationwide. Miller and MZA have produced this landmark event benefiting APLA for the past 21 years.

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Andrew Sousa