First Annual AIDS Walk/Run Athens

The Problem

In Brief: AIDS Walk/Run Athens, an outreach program run by University of Georgia students, is a 5K walk that seeks to enhance the capacities of the greater Athens communities to care for those affected by and to prevent future cases of HIV and AIDS. The goals for the annual AIDS Walk/Run are (1) to raise funds for HIV and AIDS support organizations in Northeast Georgia; (2) to increase public awareness about HIV and AIDS, the impacts of HIV and AIDS on the people in our communities, and currently available local resources; (3) to unite the larger Athens and University of Georgia communities in fighting stigma and promoting prevention. Detailed Vision Statement: On March 1, 2008, college students and community members will unite to combat the AIDS epidemic in the greater Athens area. The First Annual AIDS Walk/Run Athens is a campaign initiated for the community and led by students at the University of Georgia. Our goal is to support and facilitate the growth of existing traditions of HIV/AIDS advocacy and support in Northeast Georgia by starting an AIDS Walk/Run registered 5K to be held annually in Athens, Georgia. Unfortunately, there is a widespread misconception that there is now a cure for AIDS. Although expensive treatments are available, a false sense of security helps add to this epidemic. According to recent data, Georgia ranks as the eighth highest HIV caseload in the U.S. Even worse, Georgia ranks fifth for the highest number of new annual AIDS diagnosis. In 2006, over 36,000 people in the state of Georgia and 600 people in Northeast Georgia were living with HIV or AIDS. AIDS Walk/Run Athens seeks to enhance the capacities of the greater Athens communities to care for those affected by and to prevent future cases of HIV and AIDS. The funds raised at this year's AIDS Walk/Run will be donated to AIDS Athens, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization that supports nearly 300 individuals and families affected by HIV and AIDS in ten Northeast Georgia counties. Funds are crucial to organize the walk, promote education, and establish a tradition in Northeast Georgia community of how to get involved with AIDS Walk/Run Athens 2008. Your contribution will not only help us to reach our goal of $50,000, but will ensure that the success of the first annual AIDS Walk/Run Athens in establishing a memorable tradition for the greater Athens community. Again, we ask you to join us in making history!!!!

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