Registration Now Open for AIDS Walk Boston and the Larry Kessler 5K Run -- 27th Annual Walk will Take Place Sunday, June 3, 2012

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Annual event has raised more than $37 million for services for people living with HIV/AIDS -- expected to draw 15,000 participants this year.

Registration is open and fundraising has begun for the 27th annual AIDS Walk Boston, From All Walks of Life™, Boston’s annual AIDS Walk, which will be held June 3, 2012. The annual Walk draws 10,000 to 15,000 participants and is AIDS Action’s largest annual fundraiser. WCVB-TV StormTeam 5 meteorologist David Brown will emcee the event, which also includes a Wellness Festival and the Larry Kessler 5K run. The 5K run is a competitive, timed event, and is fully sanctioned by the USA Track & Field Association. The 6.2-mile AIDS Walk and the Larry Kessler 5K run will begin and end at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston. Registration and check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. The Walk begins at 10 a.m.; the Larry Kessler run begins at 9:50 a.m. Participants can register for the AIDS Walk and 5K run at http://www.aidswalkboston.org. There is neither a registration fee nor a minimum funds raised requirement in order to participate.

“There are an estimated 25,000 to 27,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts, about 21 percent of whom do not know they are HIV positive. At any given time, AIDS Action is providing services to at least one-in-six of the 18,000 people who do know their status,” said Rebecca Haag, president and CEO of AIDS Action, who walks each year and contributes personally to every AIDS Action employee who walks or runs. “We connect people with health care, peer support, counseling, free HIV testing, housing and fuel assistance, and legal services. Since 1999, we have helped the state reduce new HIV diagnoses by 54 percent, which will save more than 5,600 a diagnosis of HIV, and will save the state more than $2 billion in health care costs. Money raised from the AIDS Walk is essential to this work, and we urge everyone in the Boston area to join us or donate to the thousands of walker and runners who do.”

Corporate sponsors of this year’s AIDS Walk and 5K Run include MOMS Pharmacy, Brystol-Myers Squibb, Whole Foods Market, EMD Serono, EMD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The TJX Companies, Inc., Partners HealthCare, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, State Street, Eastern Bank, Abt Associates, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. This year’s media sponsors include WCVB-TV 5, JAM’N 95.5 FM, WFNX 101.7 FM, El Planeta, KISS 108 FM, and The Boston Phoenix. The VIP Breakfast Sponsor is Boloco. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. Call Jacoba van Heugten at 617-450-1512 or email jvanheugten(at)aac(dot)org.

AIDS Action will support the Boston AIDS Walk with a robust social media outreach and fundraising plan:

  •     For the fourth year in a row, walkers can fundraise through their Facebook pages by installing the Fundraising with Facebook application. Last year, walkers raised approximately $40,000 in donations through Facebook.
  •     Follow @AIDSWalkBoston and the hashtag #AWB for information about HIV/AIDS and the Boston AIDS Walk.

FACTS ABOUT AIDS IN MASSACHUSETTS

  •     The number of people known to be living with HIV/AIDS increased by 42% from 1999 to 2008.
  •     Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics make up only 6% of the total population, but non-Hispanic blacks account for 29% of those living with HIV/AIDS, and Hispanics account for 25% of those living with HIV/AIDS
  •     Among those recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, male-to-male sex is the leading reported cause of exposure, accounting for four out of 10 new diagnoses.

FACTS ABOUT AIDS NATIONALLY

  •     There is a new HIV infection every 9.5 minutes and HIV continues to infect about 56,000 people annually.
  •     There are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
  •     Gay and bisexual men are more than 44 times more likely to become infected with HIV than the general population.
  •     About one in 16 Black American men and one in 30 Black American women can expect to become HIV positive in their lifetime.
  •     AIDS is the third leading cause of death for African-American men and women age 35 to 44.
  •     About one-third of all new HIV infections occur in people age 28 and younger.

FACTS ABOUT AIDS WALK Boston
The AIDS Walk was first held in 1986 and is one of the first walks to be introduced in Boston, as well as the country. The 5K run was added to open up fundraising to runners. Historically AAC’s largest fundraising event, it has raised nearly $37 million for programs and services to support those living with and at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS. In 2010:

About AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. Learn more at http://www.aac.org.

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