Perfect weather and a great cause brought hundreds out to support HIV/AIDS charities.
Southern California provided the perfect weather to raise money for San Diego organizations which help the HIV/AIDS community with food, clothing, housing and support services.
The event also honors those lost to the disease but ensures others who are living with HIV/AIDS have plenty of resources available to them throughout the community.
This year, the event raised thousands of dollars which will go directly to organizations such as Mama's Kitchen, North County LGBTQ Center, Stepping Stone, and many more.
Dr. Delores Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of The Center said in a statement prior to the event, “The support of our premier sponsors – and everyone who contributes to this event – enables us to further raise HIV awareness, support local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs, and continue our efforts to #BeTheGeneration that ends HIV as an epidemic.”
San Diego LGBT Visitors Center Eddie Reynoso was amid the athletes and casual participants who donned active wear and tennis shoes to take part in the fundraiser either individually or in teams.
"The AIDS Walk is important because HIV/AIDS is still infecting and affecting ALL OF US,especially people of color and youth," said Reynoso. "HIV/AIDS is still a chronic disease. It is still misunderstood. It is still cloaked in stigma. And there is still no cure. I applaud the San Diego LGBT Center and #BeTheGeneration for keeping the conversation alive."
Community figure and #BeTheGeneration activist Benny Cartwright was also walking for awareness Saturday morning and says the event achieved more than one important goal.
"AIDS Walk was a wonderful showing of thousands of folks who came together to support our goal to #BeTheGeneration to end HIV," said Cartwright to SDGLN. "While the money is still being counted, seeing this many people out in support of such a good cause is a success!"
As researchers work hard every day to find a cure, there are steps people can take to guard themselves against contracting the disease.
It’s important to know your status and that of your partner, get tested every year and take precautionary actions to avoid contracting the disease, such as the use of condoms or the drug PrEP.
For more information and support you can go to The Center’s website HERE, or call (619) 692-2077.
Special thanks to The San Diego LGBT Visitors Center and Benny Cartwright for photo contributions.