The 30th-Annual AIDS Walk Philly Is This Sunday
On October 16th, more than 10,000 people are expected to be at Eakins Oval for the 30th-Annual AIDS Walk Philly and AIDS Run Philly 5K, presented by Merck. The event has become a tradition bringing together members of the community in fundraising, education, and mobilizing around the conversation on HIV/AIDS in the city.
There will be free rapid HIV tests and information clinics on site during registration. In commemoration of the event’s 30th year, there will be panels from The AIDS Memorial Quilt and a special presentation of “1981-Until It’s Over …,” a visual timeline featuring the history of AIDS advocacy.
“We have an opportunity to do something special at this year’s Philly AIDS Walk,” said Richard LaBoy, a clinical research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). LaBoy, a gay supporter of the AIDS Walk, is using his CHOP research project called POSSE (Promoting Ovah-ness through Safe Sex Education) as a way to fundraise for the AIDS Fund during the walk.
“POSSE Project Philly #6104 will bring together members from all 13 active houses in Philly walking in memory of all those in Philadelphia’s house and ballroom scene affected by the HIV epidemic,” LaBoy told G Philly. “Personally, I have watched some of my closest friends and house brothers and sisters all lose battles with HIV — so this walk will be a victory for all of us.”
Currently, LaBoy’s team is ranked number one as the top community fundraising troupe for this year’s walk. As of the publication of this story, POSSE has raised $ 1,835 out of its goal of $2,500. The public still has time to contribute to the organization and other groups. POSSE plans to has been holding socials in the Gayborhood to spread the message as the walk gets closer.
According to the Philadelphia Department of Health, an estimated 30,000 people in the Greater Philadelphia region are living with HIV. Registration for AIDS Walk/Run Philly is still open online at aidswalkphilly.org.