This year is the 24th anniversary of the Seattle AIDS Walk.
A whole generation has passed since the Northwest AIDS Walk began.
AIDS used to be the unstoppable disease that killed much of
a generation of gay men.
AIDS is still a serious problem, but the development of antiretroviral
drugs in the Nineties means that people with HIV
are living longer, healthier lives than before.
More than 1.5 million Americans are now living with HIV/AIDS:
9,000 of them in King County.
40,000 people are infected every year,
and most new infections are among African-Americans.
The U.S. is getting off relatively lightly:
about one-quarter of the adults in southern Africa have HIV!
The Lifelong AIDS Alliance provides a variety of services to those living
with HIV/AIDS in Washington State.
LLAA cooks 190,000 fresh meals each year,
helps 3500 people,
provides case management for 1200 people,
provides 2300 people with health insurance support,
packs 45,000 grocery bags,
and distributes condoms and safe-sex information to high-risk populations.
Donations to the Lifelong AIDS Alliance are down significantly over the last couple of years,
while the need for their services has grown in this perilous economy.
This year's goal is to raise $750,000 and recruit more than 4000 walkers.
I've walked in the AIDS Walk every year since 1992 and I've raised
thousands of dollars for AIDS.
Please help me raise money again for this year's walk
on Saturday, September 25th.
I aim to raise at least $500.
You can sponsor me by going to http://www.georgevreilly.com/aidswalk.
I'm also a member of the Freely Speaking Toastmasters team.
We'd love to have you join us or sponsor us.
Note: Emma and I are having a fundraising barbecue on
Saturday, September 18th, noon to 5pm.
Email me for more details.
I thank you, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance thanks you,
and the people you'll be helping thank you.