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Close to 3,000 Participants in AIDS/LifeCycle Expected to Raise Record $15 Million to Fight HIV/AIDS

Participants in AIDS/LifeCycle 2013 (File Photo)

Thousands of cyclists and volunteer “roadies” will embark on a 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles during the first week of June, united by a common cause: fighting to end HIV/AIDS. AIDS/LifeCycle® raises millions of dollars annually to support San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Participants are HIV positive and HIV negative, LGBT and straight, ages 18 to 84, and they come from 46 states and 14 countries. They are expected to raise more than $15 million this year for vital, and often life-saving, services.

Now in its 13th year, AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 545-mile bike ride—not a race—that raises important awareness about the continued HIV/AIDS epidemic, in addition to funding services such as HIV testing and screenings for other sexually transmitted infections, HIV medical care, prevention services, and more.

“We’re making great strides in fighting HIV and caring for those living with the disease, but our work is far from done,” said Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. “Alarmingly, the HIV infection rate among gay and bisexual men and transgender people is on the rise, and we’re caring for record numbers of people in our Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic. It’s thanks to the dedication and commitment of each AIDS/LifeCycle participant that we’re able to care for so many people, continue our work to fight new infections, advocate for sound HIV/AIDS policy, and conduct research to help end the epidemic.”

In the seven days it takes the riders to reach Los Angeles, more than 1,000 people in the United States will become infected with HIV. Especially alarming is the fact that one out of every five people living with HIV nationwide is not aware of their status. Since the rides began as the California AIDS Ride in 1993, its participants have raised more than $180 million and completed more than 40,000 journeys on bikes from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“Everyone who participates in AIDS/LifeCycle is a true hero in the fight against HIV,” says Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Because of their efforts, we are able to provide all of our direct services for HIV prevention and care for free to more than 15,000 clients every year. We are also able to give people living with HIV/AIDS a powerful voice at all levels of government through our robust and effective advocacy efforts. I’m more confident than ever that we will see the end of HIV transmission in our lifetime, and AIDS/LifeCycle plays a critical role in making that goal a reality.”

Despite remarkable progress that has been made since the disease was first discovered in 1981, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. Currently there are 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS nationwide. The infection rate continues to rise among gay and bisexual men, with communities of color most impacted.

AIDS/LifeCycle’s sponsors are FedEx Corporation, OneDrive, Gilead Sciences, Inc., AbbVie, and Wells Fargo. The official Bike Sponsor is Cannondale, and the official Media Sponsor is Instinct Magazine.

To follow the journey during the week of the ride through pictures, stories, and videos, visit aidslifecycle.org.

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