Drum corps leading AIDS Walk Portland 2012
Thank you so much, everyone who participated in AIDS Walk Portland 2012! Thanks to you, we drew over 10,000 people to the walk and raised $475,000, surpassing our goal by an astounding $75,000! We owe it all to the people who walked, raised money, and spread the word to their friends, coworkers, and family. We are grateful, too, to the scores of volunteers who helped set up the walk, run registration, act as sentinels along the walk's route, and more.
What makes this year particularly special is that we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The National Institutes of Health released a report showing that people who are HIV positive and take their medication have reduced the likelihood that they'll transmit the virus to their sexual partners by 96%. This means that we can virtually stop HIV in its tracks if we can test everyone and get those who are HIV positive on medication.
The funds you helped us raise at AIDS Walk will go a long way toward getting the word out about the need to know your HIV status. We'll continue to offer free, rapid HIV tests at Pivot in downtown Portland for gay and bisexual men, and we'll offer rapid HIV tests in our office to anyone who requests one, for a suggested donation. (No one will be turned away, however.) Those who test positive will quickly be linked with any physical and emotional support they require. It only takes half an hour, and not even a blood draw, to know your HIV status. As always, we'll keep spreading the word about how to protect ourselves and those we love from HIV, and we'll work to remove the stigma from discussing it.
Again, thank you for making this the best AIDS Walk yet!