Walk with us on September 22 at the Seattle AIDS Walk

Walk with us on September 22 at the Seattle AIDS Walk

Credit: Lifelong AIDS Alliance

At the start of the 2011 Seattle AIDS Walk in Volunteer Park.

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by Kelly Bray Guest Blogger

KING5.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 13 at 10:01 PM

“In memory.” “For a cure.”  “To prevent HIV.”  “For hope.” “For my sister.”


These are just a few of the reasons why individuals choose to participate in the Seattle AIDS Walk. Held on September 22, the Seattle AIDS Walkis a 5K run and walk that brings 4,000 people together to raise funds for Lifelong AIDS Alliance and eight other community service organizations in the Seattle/King County area.

 

 To register for the Seattle AIDS Walk, visit www.SeattleAIDSWalk.org.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV/AIDS — and one in five of those people are unaware of their infection.Though much progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, there is still much work to be done.

 

By participating in the Seattle AIDS Walk, you are helping prevent new infections from occurring through prevention and outreach programs and free HIV testing, as well as providing support services to individuals with the disease so they can receive the food, shelter, and resources they need to get through another day.

 

More than ever, we need you on September 22! Register as an individual walker, runner, or team at the Pacific Northwest’s largest fundraiser that serves the HIV/AIDS community.

Lifelong AIDS Alliance empowers people living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives.

 

Barbara Velategui is a health educator at Newport High School in Bellevue and leads an HIV peer education curriculum. She has been involved with Lifelong AIDS Alliance for 20 years.

When asked why she supports the Seattle AIDS Walk, she said:

 

Currently my 19th AIDS Student Peer Educators Network (ASPEN) team is getting ready for the Seattle AIDS Walk on September 22. We hope to raise over $30,000 again this year.  The students begin to train for their roles as peer educators in September and will be teaching lessons from September through June at Newport, Sammamish, and Interlake High Schools.  We will add a new lesson on sex trafficking to our sophomore classes because of the rise in this global problem, which is leading to the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV. The students will also start work with the World Affairs Council to learn from HIV educators from around the world.  They will jump in cars every week and deliver meals to Lifelong clients.


Involving volunteer youth in the work that Lifelong is doing is so important.

The statistics out there are scary. Fifty percent of all 15-24 year olds will contract an STI. Having an STI puts you at a greater risk of contracting HIV.  Two teens every hour are infected with HIV and the leading edge of the epidemic in America is adolescent women of color. Because teens do not have a fully developed frontal cortex of the brain until they are in their early 20s, it is much more difficult for them to assess risky behavior and its consequences. They have a sense of invincibility.

 

Additionally, health behavior is one of the most difficult behaviors to change once habits have been established and all people need to be informed about health risks before they make a conscious decision to change risky behavior.  

So do teens need HIV education, sexuality education and health education? Absolutely!

There are many other stories of why people like Barbara choose to support Lifelong and the Seattle AIDS Walk.With your help, we can support individuals currently living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions, and, like Barbara, educate youth to prevent new infections.

 

To register for the Seattle AIDS Walk, visit www.SeattleAIDSWalk.org.

 

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