Not Just Another Stroll Through the Park
Last Sunday marked the 28th annual AIDS Walk in San Francisco and a few of us from watchLAB joined 20,000 other area residents to support the fight against HIV & AIDS and to help those that are currently living with the disease. Over $2 million dollars were raised as a result of the walk, proceeds that will help fund Project Inform in addition to other local programs in the greater Bay Area.
It was a 6.2 mile walk (O.K., so I may have run the majority of it, but my motto in life is “Why walk when you can run?”) and along the course there were dancers, marching bands and a huge number of AIDS Walk volunteers cheering us on. The setting wasn’t too shabby, either — Golden Gate Park was a beautiful backdrop for the day. I saw parts of the park I had never seen before (how did I not know that there was a Buffalo Paddock?) and became reacquainted with other gems.
Afterwards, I viewed the AIDS quilts that were laid out which was the most sobering part of my experience. Through these squares that families and friends had designed for the loved ones they had lost you could feel the devastating impact the disease had on an entire generation.
It made me realize how far we have come since 1981, when the first cases of AIDs had been discovered. But it also reminded me that we should never be complacent because of those strides. According to AIDS.gov, more than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 1 in 4 new HIV infections are among those who are 13-24.
So what can we as individuals do in this fight again AIDS, as daunting as the cause might seem? You can start small: participate in local events in your hometown, or find a charity or shelter that you can donate money, food, or your time. And maybe next year, we’ll walk (or run) for the cause together in San Francisco.
Daphne travels extensively, with Hong Kong being her new favorite destination. But when in the States, she'll cook you a mean Chicken Adobo and might even force you to watch Glee with her.
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