SAN FRANCISCO/ LOS ANGELES —June 3, 2012—More than 2,225 riders and 550 volunteer “roadies” begin a seven-day journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles with AIDS/Lifecycle, a 545-mile bike ride and the world’s most successful HIV/AIDS fundraiser. The participants of AIDS/LifeCycle 11 have raised $12.6 million for the HIV/AIDS-related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
“AIDS/LifeCycle embodies the true spirit of our community—people coming together and giving their entire heart, mind, and body to such an important cause,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Right now in the history of the AIDS epidemic, we are truly at a place where we can envision the end of this disease. But with vital programs facing budget cuts at all levels of government, AIDS/LifeCycle plays a critical role in ensuring we can continue to provide services that are reducing new HIV infections and ensuring everyone living the disease has access to proper care.”
Each AIDS/LifeCycle rider commits to raising at least $3,000, but most go beyond that commitment. Riders have raised an average of more than $5,000 each. Supporters can still make donations all week at aidslifecycle.org.
“People ages 18 to 83 have come from nearly every state and a record 16 countries to be a part of the ride,” says Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. “They come from all different backgrounds and walks of life to form a wonderful community united by the common goal of fighting HIV. Recent medical advances have given us great hope for turning the tide in the fight against HIV, but the reality is that the epidemic is not over. That’s why AIDS/LifeCycle is so important; it funds services that are critical to serving those living with HIV and to stopping the spread of the disease.”
Despite the remarkable progress that has been made since the epidemic began in 1981, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. In the U.S. alone, 1.2 million people are living with HIV. Every nine and a half minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV. That means in the seven days it will take the cyclists to reach Los Angeles, more than 1,000 people—many of them gay or bisexual men of color—will become infected. Especially alarming is the fact that one in five people living with HIV don’t know it. The money raised by AIDS/LifeCycle supports vital, and often life-saving, HIV/AIDS-related services.
Presenting sponsors of AIDS/LifeCycle 11 are FedEx and Shopoff Properties. Contributing sponsors include Abbott Labs, Charles Schwab, Gilead, LabCop, and Wells Fargo. Instinct magazine is the official media sponsor.
Registration Open for AIDS/LifeCycle 12!
The riders and volunteer “roadies” of AIDS/LifeCycle form a diverse, friendly community where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs—regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background. And riders start at all levels of fitness, and regular training rides help them get ready to ride—even if they haven’t been on a bike in years (or ever)! The AIDS/LifeCycle staff offers support to help participants achieve their fundraising goals.
Registration has opened for AIDS/LifeCycle 12, which will take place June 2-8, 2013. Before this year’s event ends on June 9, registration for next year’s AIDS/LifeCycle is being offered for only $50, a savings of $35! For more information, or to register, go here.
AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully-supported, seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It’s a life-changing ride—not a race—through some of California’s most beautiful countryside. AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is designed to advance their shared interest to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. Visit us at www.sfaf.org.
ABOUT L.A. GAY & LESBIAN CENTER
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us at www.lagaycenter.org.