Thousands Lace Up For 30th Annual AIDS Walk Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — AIDS Walk Philly celebrated a milestone on Sunday. It was the 30th year of the event which attracts thousands all to raise money to help those living with HIV and AIDS.

The 30th annual AIDS Walk Philly took place on Sunday outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Thousands gathered outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and laced up for the goal — get to zero: zero deaths, zero new infections, zero stigma.

“We have to have to will to end this epidemic,” said Robb Reichard, executive director of the AIDS Fund, “we have the tools.”

The AIDS Fund started the AIDS Walk/Run 30 years ago, at a time when an AIDS diagnosis meant death. Now, roughly 30,000 people in the Greater Philadelphia area are living with the disease. But there are hundreds of new diagnoses every day.

“Young people are at risk, gay and bisexual men continue to be at risk,” Reichard said, “and the African-American community is disproportionately impacted.”

Gary Bell operates Bebashi Transition to Hope, a group specifically designed to target the black community, which makes up 50% of new infections.

“If we can begin to have a dialogue and get rid of all these myths and stereotypes, we can really make more progress,” Bell said.

Money raised from the walk will fund emergency grants for those living with HIV.

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