PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 10,000 people took to the Philadelphia Art Museum area this morning for the 28th annual AIDS Walk Philly 5-K.
“Raising awareness” is a buzz phrase used at every charity walk, but Robb Reichard, Executive Director with non-profit AIDS Fund, said it’s especially important for them.
“The stigma keeps people from talking to their partners about HIV,” he said. “Stigma keeps people from going and seeking an HIV test and sometimes stigma even keeps people from seeking medical care.”
Free HIV tests were available on site, and on display at the walk were panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
“It’s a very personal reminder of the toll that this disease has taken,” said Pat Lavelle, who is part of the AIDS Fund board.
Lavelle’s brother died of the disease and she said she makes it a point to be part of the walk each year. Their team name is “Family Values.”
“Family values aren’t about being prissy and rejecting people,” she said. “They’re about embracing people for who they are.”
The walk raised $325,000 for education programs and services for those infected.
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