Get out your capes and your running shoes! AIDS Project Rhode Island (APRI) this week announced the return of its annual AIDS Run/Walk for Life event.
This year marks the first time APRI has held an in-person event since 2019. The dual Run/Walk will take kick-off at Pierce Memorial Field on the morning of Saturday, June 25, 2022.
The theme for this year’s event is “It Takes a Team of Heroes to Get to Zero” and encourages participants to dress as their favorite superheroes (or make one of their own!). Together, runners and walkers will be part of a heroic team pushing for an end to AIDS and getting new HIV infections to zero in Rhode Island. APRI will also be offering free at-home HIV test kits on the day of the event, and other community-based organizations will be part of the day’s activities.
“The Run/Walk for Life is our largest fundraising event and ensures that APRI can continue to provide care to the thousands of individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in Rhode Island,” APRI Director Anthony Faccenda says. “The public’s support helps us provide comprehensive support services to those living with HIV and essential HIV testing and prevention services for those at risk for HIV. But, most importantly, the public’s support helps APRI fight stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV, unfortunately, still face every day.”
“We’re also excited to honor Philip Kane as this year’s Hope Harris Award recipient,” Faccenda added. “Philip has been a tireless advocate and champion for people living with HIV for over three decades, and we couldn’t think of a better person to honor.”
More than 2,700 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Rhode Island. HIV continues to disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities, particularly young Latino and African-American gay and bisexual men and women of color. On a brighter note, we know we have the tools to make “getting to zero” a reality. APRI proudly endorses and promotes the “Undetectable = Untransmittable” campaign, which states that a person with HIV who is on medication and achieves an undetectable viral level cannot pass the virus to a partner.
“RunRhody is pleased to be assisting AIDS Project Rhode Island’s 5k Run/Walk on June 25th,” said RunRhody event director Charles Breagy. “This is a great organization that contributes greatly to the Rhode Island community and RunRhody‘s experience will help make this a successful and fun event.”
The public’s support is more critical now than ever, according to AAPRI. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges for the people APRI serve. For example, due to the inability to offer in-person HIV testing services, APRI innovated and launched the state’s first-ever at-home HIV testing program in June 2020. APRI has shipped over 550 tests throughout the state, helping combat typical HIV in-person testing barriers, including transportation, cost, lack of health insurance, and stigma. The donations raised during this event help ensure that their program remains vibrant and individuals at risk for HIV have access to free, convenient, and empowering HIV testing”.
AIDS Run/Walk for Life Event Details:
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Pierce Memorial Field
8 a.m.: Registration opens
9 a.m.: The 5K run will start promptly at 9 am, with the walk immediately following.
To register as a runner or a walker, please visit https://aidsprojectri.org/runwalk/