From 2017 to 2019, I have biked on 3 AIDS/LifeCycle rides, carrying with me the imperative goal of making HIV and AIDS issues of the past.
With the exception of 2020 and 2021, AIDS/LifeCycle has been an annual, 545-mile, 7-day bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money to:
1. Fund the work of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free HIV/AIDS medical care, testing, and prevention services.
2. Raise awareness to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.
3. Provide a positive, life affirming experience for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
4. Grow our community of activists, volunteers, and ambassadors fighting to end AIDS.
5. Honor those who have passed from AIDS-related causes.
Since the onset of the AIDS pandemic in 1981, the LGBTQ+ and scientific communities have made powerful advancements. There now exists preventative medication (PrEP) that can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by 99%, as well as treatment (ART) that can reduce HIV levels to undetectable.
That being said, it is important to acknowledge the physical and emotional toll that the AIDS crisis has within our communities. Since 1981, 76 million people have been infected with HIV globally, and 33 million have died. Furthermore, AIDS has disproportionately impacted and decimated men of the LGBTQ+ community, the Black community, as well as the Baby Boomer generation:
- By 1995, 1 out of every 9 gay men in the US had been diagnosed with AIDS, and 1 out of 15 had died.
- Also by 1995, 10% of the 1.6 million gay men aged 25-44 (i.e., the Baby Boomer generation) had died.
- In 2017, adult and adolescent self-identified gay and bisexual men accounted for 70% of new HIV diagnoses in the US.
- In 2018, Black men accounted for 42% of new HIV diagnoses in the US.
I ride to honor the 33 million lives lost, and to find a cure for AIDS so that one day we no longer have to ride. While the traditional bicycle ride has been cancelled for 2020 and 2021, it is vital that we continue advancing the mission of AIDS/LifeCycle. I have committed to riding my bicycle for 545 miles in 2022, when the ride is planned to resume. In return, will you commit to donating to this vital cause?
Thank you for your consideration!
With love and gratitude,