Photos by ALEK and STEPH
In the seven days that it will take AIDS/LifeCycle 9 participants to ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, more than 1,000 people in the United States will become infected with HIV. There is still time to register, train and raise money for AIDS/LifeCycle, the world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, being held this year from June 6 through June 12. AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 545-mile bike ride ― not race ― that benefits the HIV/AIDS services provided by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
“Due to the troubled economy, the demand for HIV prevention and care services has never been greater,” said AIDS/LifeCycle Director Michael Barron. “The money we raise from the ride to support those services is more important than ever.”
Event organizers say it is not too late to join this year’s ride. A variety of tools are available to help participants succeed in preparing for the ride and in fundraising efforts.
More than 2,500 bicyclists and volunteer “roadies” from 40 states and seven countries are expected on this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle, which many refer to as a life-changing experience.
“I never expected anything in return, but what I got was something amazing,” said cyclist Shelley Duits, whose cousin died of AIDS in 1996. “I was called a hero. Me a hero just for riding a bike! I am now a member of the most caring, generous and kind-hearted family I have ever known.”“It is possible for a passionate, physically fit person to adequately train in the time remaining,” said AIDS/LifeCycle representative JR Billings. “Fundraising is also doable because about 80 percent of donations are received in the 80 days prior to the event and every rider is assigned a cycle representative to provide support every step of the way.”
AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles through some of California’s most scenic countryside, including the stunning coast. The world’s largest annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, the event is co-produced by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation to support HIV/AIDS services at both organizations. As participants in this life-changing experience, the more than 2,500 cyclists and volunteer roadies — from nearly every state and seven countries, ages 18 to 82 — become ambassadors in the fight against AIDS while improving their own health. This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle, the ninth, takes place on June 6-12, 2010.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to ensure the HIV epidemic ends in the same city where it began. By combining innovative, evidence-based programs for HIV prevention and care with bold policy initiatives focused on issues ranging from harm reduction to total health and wellness, the agency is making sustainable progress against HIV among populations most vulnerable to the disease. Established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, please visit: HYPERLINK “http://www.sfaf.org” www.sfaf.org
About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us on the Web at: www.lagaycenter.org