This annual event is the world's single largest HIV fundraiser.
This past Sunday over 2,000 bicyclists started peddling on their 545-mile journey from Daly City, California, to Los Angeles for AIDS/LifeCycle, an annual fundraiser that helps HIV/AIDS programs in Los Angeles.
This event is so important that some put it above all else. For instance, director Sam Wineman is going to miss the screening of his film “The Quiet Room” at FilmOut this weekend in order to cross the finish line.
It’s this kind of tenacity and effort which helped this year’s event raise a record $16.6 million which is then donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Add this figure to the $251 million in the last 16 years and you can see why it’s so important.
“In the seven days it takes the riders to reach Los Angeles, more than 700 people in the United States will contract HIV. One in seven people living with HIV nationwide is not aware of their status,” according to a statement from the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“Our tireless riders and roadies have once again risen to the occasion, raising millions of dollars to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said the LGBT center’s CEO Lorri L. Jean. “Thanks to their hard work and the generosity of their donors, we will continue to be able to provide free or low-cost HIV testing and medical services—caring for those most in need and reducing the incidence of HIV infection.”
The money raised is not only used to help people affected by HIV/AIDS, but also goes into education, prevention, and awareness.
“The enduring commitment of the AIDS/LifeCycle community demonstrates the tenacity we need to end the HIV epidemic for all communities,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner. “Because of awareness and funds raised by AIDS/LifeCycle participants, San Francisco AIDS Foundation is able to provide 25,000 clients with services that prevent new infections and promote the health of those living with HIV, all free of charge.”