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AIDS/LifeCycle Raises a Record $11.5 Million to Fight AIDS
Date:6/1/2008

the virus," Cloutier said. "Better prevention tools will help the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation revitalize HIV prevention and focus on reducing -- and perhaps some day eliminating -- HIV in California and elsewhere. AIDS/LifeCycle makes it possible for both organizations to explore HIV prevention that meets the needs of our communities, including many of the groups most vulnerable to HIV infection."

This year, organizers will distribute free premium condoms -- in packages emblazoned with the message "Ride Safe" -- to HIV/AIDS organizations and community clinics along the route to emphasize the message of personal responsibility and prevention.

AIDS/LifeCycle has been a major force in raising awareness about the continued effect of HIV and the growing need for services as the number of people living with the disease continues to grow. Over the course of the week-long event, the riders -- sometimes outnumbering the populations of the communities they ride through -- are greeted by local residents of eight counties who line roadways and visit rider pit stops to show support. In past years, cheering groups of schoolchildren have stood alongside the road with homemade signs and refreshments. Many local residents show support with signs of thanks that invoke memories of loved ones lost to AIDS.

The record number of participants in this year's event represents a full range of cycling experience and expertise, from novices to seat-hardened "hammerheads" and includes a contingent of cyclists living with HIV known as the Positive Pedalers. This year, the oldest rider is 81 and the youngest is 18. Riders train for months in advance of the ride and commit themselves to raising at least $2,500 each to support HIV-related services at both organizations. Meeting the physical and emotional challenges of the ride serves as an example that encourages healthy choices regardless of age, HIV status and physical limitations, organizers s
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SOURCE AIDS/LifeCycle
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