Contacts: Ryan McKeel:
415/487-3071
rmckeel@sfaf.org
Stevie St. John:
323/993-7622
sstjohn@lagaycenter.org

2,350 AIDS/LIFECYCLE Riders Raise Record $13+ Million

AIDS/LifeCycle 10 kicks off on the thirtieth anniversary of AIDS

 

San Francisco, June 5, 2011—

SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES – June 5, 2011 – Today, exactly 30 years after the nation’s war with AIDS began, 2,350 bicyclists and 600 volunteer “roadies” begin their seven-day journey toward Los Angeles as participants in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles and the world’s most successful AIDS fundraiser. Hailing from nearly every state and 11 countries, they have raised a record $13,060,000 for the HIV/AIDS services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

“AIDS/LifeCycle brings together a community of dedicated and compassionate people to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS,” says San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano. “Historic levels of participation and support in AIDS/LifeCycle 10 send a powerful message that 30 years into the epidemic, fighting HIV/AIDS and raising awareness are still top concerns for thousands of people. This ride, and the heroic spirit of everyone involved, is changing the course of the epidemic by allowing us to provide free services for HIV prevention and care in communities most vulnerable to the disease.”

Joining the AIDS/LifeCycle community this year are celebrity trainers Cara Castronuova (The Biggest Loser) and Scott Herman (The Real World: Brooklyn), who are sharing their messages of healthy living and spreading the word that HIV/AIDS still needs our urgent attention as we enter the fourth decade of fighting the disease.

On June 5, 1981—30 years ago today—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first report about the disease then known as Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID) and later known as AIDS. The report detailed the case studies of five gay men in Los Angeles; by the time it was published, two of the five men had died. Since the earliest days of the epidemic, both the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the Foundation have taken a leadership role in fighting HIV/AIDS. Today, both organizations remain at the forefront of efforts to reduce new HIV infections and ensure access to proper medical care for everyone who needs it. 

“For 30 years, we have been under attack by HIV and AIDS—and the fight is far from over,” says L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “Too many people believe that the problem is no longer significant in the U.S. Yet the infection rate for gay and bisexual men continues to climb. The riders and roadies of AIDS/LifeCycle are heroes in the fight against AIDS; together, they have raised millions to help prevent the spread of HIV and improve the health of people in our communities living with the disease.”


Today, 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV—the highest number in the history of this decades-long crisis. More than 1 in 10 of those live in California. And 1 in 5 of those living with HIV don’t know it. Gay and black communities are especially hard hit. New HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in the United States are on the rise—the only risk group for whom this is the case—and a 2010 CDC study found that a shocking 20% of gay and bisexual men in 21 U.S. cities are HIV-positive. 

For more information, go to www.aidslifecycle.org.