This year, 2019, is going to be my seventh ride! No seven year itch for me!
FROM June 2 to June 8, 2019, I'M BICYCLING IN AIDS/LIFECYCLE. IT'S A 7-DAY, 545-MILE BIKE RIDE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO LOS ANGELES TO MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV AND AIDS.
WHY I RIDE
I am just a little bit younger than the generation hit the hardest by HIV/AIDS, but I was close enough to never become numb to it. The first time I ever heard the term AIDS was around 1985 when I was in fourth grade. While I cannot remember the exact circumstances, they were harshly negative comments made by classmates in elementary school who were likely repeating words of adults speaking out of fear of the unknown. Around that same time, I remember my mother, a healthcare professional, correcting misconceptions in adult conversation about the fact that you could not get AIDS from sharing a drinking glass. I repeated those words to my friends who had the same misperceptions. Perhaps that moment of educating misperceptions of the disease was my first movement toward fighting the disease.
In my first job out of college, I worked in the chemistry lab of a pharmaceutical company designing new chemical entities to become protease inhibitors for Hepatitis C. At that time, protease inhibitors for HIV were still in their infancy. Because of this involvement in antiviral research, it was quite appropriate that when I was in pharmacy school I was passionate about developing an expert understanding of the pharmacology behind HIV. On rotations at San Francisco General Hospital, I often had patients in the ward that historically was the first AIDS ward in San Francisco. It really meant something to be part of a place where things really happened to care for patients in the early days of HIV/AIDS.
As a pharmacist, I understand the importance of medication compliance for HIV positive patients. I have often made extra effort to make sure that medications were available to patients. Having also worked for a pharmaceutical company, I understand the business end and the need to recover the research dollars spend getting medication to the market. Research for HIV has contributed to discoveries in treatment of other disease states. Addressing the need for compliance, we have seen different pharmaceutical companies with patents on different drugs agree to combine their ingredients into one tablet in the name of patient care. This type of move for compassion of a patient is just one of many things that inspire me to ride.
Please help me support AIDS/LifeCycle by giving what you can. We'll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.