It is time for the Colorado Aids Project’s Annual AIDS Walk Colorado. This year’s event will be their 28th annual in Cheesman Park, at 1177 Race St, Denver, CO 80206. For directions to the park click here. At this year’s event the Deputy Mayor of Denver, Cary Kennedy, will announce the City of Denver’s participation in a new initiative which will strive to end this horrible disease by the year 2030.
AIDS Walk Colorado raised nearly $300,000 last year and is the oldest fundraising event for this cause in the Rocky Mountain Region. The organization has several offices around the state to include; Denver, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The HIV/AIDS walk and run is a 5K (3.1 miles) event which raises donations, as well as, awareness about the disease and how it continues to affect a large portion of our communities and infections are still occurring daily.
The Walk/Run will begin at 9:30 a.m. Registration will open at 7:30 a.m. for people who have not pre-registered for the event on-line. There are several categories in which you can register for the event. For information about registration click here.
After the Walk/Run there will be a concert in the park by Nina Storey who herself is a Denver native and recording artist. It is said she is “half Janis Joplin, half Alanis, three parts Virgin Mary and one part Dirty Harry.” She has a style of her own which she calls “Future Retro” a mix of pop and soul. She has been seen by many fans and has been the subject of press members around the world with her performances at the New Orleans Festival, The Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Santa Cruz Blues Festival and the AFC Championships. She has even played with several artists to include; Sarah Bareilles, Etta James, Jamie Cullum, Rachel Platten, Andy Grammar, Keb Mo which can all be seen on all media forms. She also has two hits in the new “Feature Film” the “American Girl.”
Kids can enjoy various activities at the Kiddie Corner, panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, specific to Colorado will be exhibit, the 7th Annual AIDS Walk Colorado Volleyball Tournament will take place and the all too famous Diva Dash Stilletto Fun Run.
Sponsors for this year’s event include; Colorado Access, LivWell, Gilead, Groove Subaru, Celestial Seasonings, Walgreens, Moody Insurance, Vinyl Nightclub, Good Chemistry, Kaiser Permanente, King Soopers, Avella Specialty Pharmacy, Integrity Print Group, Colorado Gay Volleyball Association, HeyDenver.org and Tony Ps. The Media Sponsors include; 107X FM, Jammin 101.5 FM and Out Front.
For more information or to register or volunteer for AIDS Walk Colorado, click here or visit www.AIDSwalkcolorado.org or call 303-861-WALK (9255).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1,218,400 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 156,300 (12.8%) who are unaware of their infection. The estimated incidence of HIV has remained stable overall in recent years, at about 50,000 new HIV infections per year. Within the overall estimates, however, some groups are affected more than others. Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV infection, and among races/ethnicities, African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected. The news shows that medications are allowing people infected with the virus to live longer, yet underscores the importance of preventing new infections.
Latest statistics show nearly 12,900 people living with HIV/AIDS in the state of Colorado (CDPHE, 2014). African Americans account for more than 18 percent of new HIV cases reported in Colorado, while African Americans make up 4 percent of the state’s population. Hispanics comprised 27 percent of new HIV cases reported in Colorado during that same time, while Hispanics make up 20 percent of the state’s population (CDPHE, 2014/U.S. Census Bureau, 2014).
Nationwide, HIV infections are on the rise, with women making up nearly a quarter of new HIV infections (CDC 2009). In addition, an estimated 50,000 people in the United States contract HIV each year.
With the CDC reporting that 1 in 5 HIV-positive individuals unaware of their status, it’s important for at-risk individuals to get tested.
Colorado Health Network Statewide Organization
The statewide Colorado AIDS Project was formed on October 1, 2011, by the merger of Northern Colorado AIDS Project (NCAP) in Ft. Collins and Greeley, Southern Colorado AIDS Project (SCAP) in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCAP) in Grand Junction, and what has now become Denver Colorado AIDS Project (formerly, CAP). In summer of 2014, Howard Dental Center merged with the statewide CAP to form Colorado Health Network (CHN), allowing oral health care to be added to the list of services already provided by regional CAP offices.
The mission of Colorado Health Network is to equitably meet the evolving needs of people affected by HIV through prevention, care and advocacy across Colorado. CHN supports nearly 4,000 clients statewide living with HIV (approximately 52% of individuals living with HIV) each year through support services such as case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing assistance and housing subsidies, transportation, oral health services, food bank and nutritional education (approximately 150,000 meals annually), insurance assistance, and financial assistance. Each support service includes the ultimate goals of working with clients to make healthy choices, increase their stability, and access healthcare for enhanced, healthier lives. In addition, CHN’s prevention services include educational outreach to at-risk populations and free testing for HIV and STI’s. CHN distributes over 100,000 free condoms annually and hosts legal syringes exchange programs in all areas of the state, removing nearly 123,000 used syringes from our communities, and thereby that many possible HIV transmissions.
For more information about the Colorado AIDS Project click here or visit www.coloradoAIDS project.org.