Once more, I'm participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride to help stop HIV and AIDS
What we are doing together is working! New HIV infections in San Francisco fell in 2014 to 302. Truvada, the prophylactic drug, has proven effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. This is very good news.
San Francisco is the only city in the nation with a declining trend of new HIV infections. But there are still at-risk populations. Young people and people of color are disproportionatly represented among new cases. Drug users are still at-risk. Roughly 90% of new cases come from the 18% or so of those who are infected with HIV, but don't know it. While HIV is treatable, it is still very challenging for those that have contracted the disease. Treatment is expensive, even with health coverage. And Truvada is still not covered by many health insurance plans.
This will be my fifth AIDS/LifeCycle ride. The process of preparing for and then riding in my first ALC in 2013 was eye opening. It was inspiring. It was moving. It was meaningful. I found myself a part of a community brought together by tragedy, and motivated by a simple desire to make positive change in the lives of those suffering from HIV and AIDS. This ride has become my mission. The people who ride have become my family.
Each year I have increased my commitment to the ride. This year is no different. In addition to donating to the ride, training riders, and helping others fundraise, this year I am volunteering to support the ride as a sweep vehicle driver. And, I've increased my fundraising goal to $15,000. We made it last year, and I think we can do it again.
But we can't raise money, or halt the spread of HIV or end AIDS without your support.
Every donation, no matter how much, helps. You can spread contributions of $100 or more out over up to 10 months. That's like giving up two trips to Starbucks a month! And, many corporations and businesses have a plan to match charitable contributions you make.
I can be there for others now in a way I couldn't for my friend Ron. I can ride for them. I can hug them and hold them and support them in their battle against a challenging disease for which there are now treatments, but no known cure.
You can too.
From June 5 - June 11, 2016, I'm participating 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.
Help me support AIDS/LifeCycle by giving what you can. We'll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past!