Dear Friends and Family,
Time is getting short! We will soon be leaving for L.A!
There was some very hopeful news in March! The second patient to survive long term remission from HIV/AIDS after stem cell transplant was reported! The good news is: it is possible to cure HIV! Possible, but at this time, not practical. In terms of education, treatment, and stopping the spread, we have so much further to go. For example, the HIV crisis is very severe in Southern Africa. The incidence of HIV is as high as 20% in parts of Zambia and South Africa! That’s 1 in 5 people! The worldwide statistics are staggering: 1.8 million new infections per year! 36.9 million living with HIV worldwide! Of those, 25% don’t know their status! About 39,000 new infections in the U.S. in 2017! Of the 1.1 million people living with HIV in the U.S., 1 in 7 are unaware they are infected! Why do we still have our heads in the sand? We need universal testing and treatment, and most importantly, the stigma of having HIV must be lifted. One thing about this news that is hopeful is that it has HIV in the conversation again. We need to talk about it so that 1 person in 7 becomes aware and gets treatment. HIV is not gone, it’s just treatable – for those that have the wherewithal to get tested and treated!
I am riding again for AIDS/LifeCycle. I debated for a while if I would ride because my friend, Kevin, who has been living with HIV for over 30 years, is not riding this year. He’s been my inspiration for my last two rides! Last year he decided was his last ride, just because, and then he had an accident 10 miles from the finish that put him in the hospital with 6 broken ribs. He is okay now – has been back on his bike for a while – but, now there’s no hope of me convincing him to ride again. I wouldn’t even attempt it. Nevertheless, I am riding for him and all the men and women like him, long-term survivors of HIV. The invisible population that lived through the hell of horrible sickness and deaths, but survived with the cocktails of pills and are now amazed at how much simpler it is to treat. I will ride for those who need to be tested, diagnosed, and treated. I will ride for those who live in unsupportive communities and families, those that have no one they feel they can talk to about HIV. I ride with the hope that we can bring consciousness to more and more communities, that we can and will remove the stigma to make it possible for those 1 in 7 in the U.S., for those 25% worldwide who are not seeking treatment due to ignorance of the disease, lack of resources, and due to stigma. Great news in March, indeed, but we must still work hard to bring the spread of the disease down!
AIDS/LifeCycle serves as an ambassador to the communities we ride through. We bring consciousness and positivity with us. Not to mention the funds we raise to help those underserved in our own communities. Those people that will be helped by the many services provided by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA LGBT Center. I need your help to meet (and hopefully exceed) my fundraising minimum of $3000. I need every dollar you can spare. So please consider giving what you might spend going out to a restaurant. Or how about $64 dollars (or a multiple of $64), my age this year? Please give what you can! I so appreciate your love and support. Thank you!
With love and hope,
My Personal Web Log
Rained out, again!
Rain and thunderstorms kept us from having our last Marin Marauders training ride (planned 66 miles)! I found myself at the gym in a cycle class and on the Precor bike afterwards for another hour of training. Not the same and not nearly as fun as riding with my compadres! Ah, well! If there is clear weather this week, I will attempt to commute to work (25 miles round trip). Wish me luck!
by Donna Scornavacca on Sun, May 19, 2019 @ 5:15 PM