Support needed more than ever for people living with HIV

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by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

This weekend marks the 25th Anniversary of the Seattle AIDS walk, the largest fundraising event hosted by the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.  One man who has been living with HIV for at least that long says the need for support has never been greater.
 
For Patrick Green, life revolves around the pills.
 
If I stop taking the pills, I'm right back where I was," said Green.
 
Orange ones, white ones, round ones, long ones.  Always with the next dose in mind.
 
"When people looked at me 15 years ago, they knew I was in trouble The look at me now and they say-wow-this is great, you're doing fine," said Green.
 
Which was not the case for his longtime partner and many others.
 
"I've lived through a lot with HIV and I know people want to think it;s over, but unless people have access to health care, to meds to housing, it's just like it was for me 25 years ago. Nothing's changed," said Green.
 
That's why he's so devoted to the AIDS walk to raise funds and to build awareness for an epidemic that he feels is being forgotten.  He also takes the message to student's at Newport High School.
 
"As you know I'm somebody's who's been living with HIV for 25 years or more an I've been pretty close to death...walking skeleton," said Green.
 
He says these students "get" it.  But one teacher in the past thought he looked too good to be the face of AIDS.
 
"She wanted the guy that they used to get that was really skinny and looked like he was really sick... and I said that was me," said Green.
 
These AIDS student peer educators at Newport--Aspen for short--are doing more than just listening to what Green has to say.
 
"We've gone from raising a meager $250 for the walk 18 years ago to our highest ever--$54,000. They're goal this year is over $40,000 and they're well on their way," said Green.  "There is nothing more powerful than a motivated teenager and they're spreading the word and so the future is in pretty good hands."
 
Medications alone can run upwards of $5,000 a month.  With patients living longer, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance says the demand for their services is higher than ever.
 
Saturday's 5K Walk and Run will begin and end at Seattle's Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill.  The venue opens at 9:00 a.m., with the program getting underway at 9:30 a.m.  There's still time to sign up.  For more info click here.
 
For Patrick Green, life revolves around the pills.
 
If I stop taking the pills, I'm right back where I was," said Green.
 
Orange ones, white ones, round ones, long ones.  Always with the next dose in mind.
 
"When people looked at me 15 years ago, they knew I was in trouble The look at me now and they say-wow-this is great, you're doing fine," said Green.
 
Which was not the case for his longtime partner and many others.
 
"I've lived through a lot with HIV and I know people want to think it;s over, but unless people have access to health care, to meds to housing, it's just like it was for me 25 years ago. Nothing's changed," said Green.
 
That's why he's so devoted to the AIDS walk to raise funds and to build awareness for an epidemic that he feels is being forgotten.  He also takes the message to student's at Newport High School.
 
"As you know I'm somebody's who's been living with HIV for 25 years or more an I've been pretty close to death...walking skeleton," said Green.
 
He says these students "get" it.  But one teacher in the past thought he looked too good to be the face of AIDS.
 
"She wanted the guy that they used to get that was really skinny and looked like he was really sick... and I said that was me," said Green.
 
These AIDS student peer educators at Newport--Aspen for short--are doing more than just listening to what Green has to say.
 
"We've gone from raising a meager $250 for the walk 18 years ago to our highest ever--$54,000. They're goal this year is over $40,000 and they're well on their way," said Green.  "There is nothing more powerful than a motivated teenager and they're spreading the word and so the future is in pretty good hands."
 
Medications alone can run upwards of $5,000 a month.  With patients living longer, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance says the demand for their services is higher than ever.
 
Saturday's 5K Walk and Run will begin and end at Seattle's Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill.  The venue opens at 9:00 a.m., with the program getting underway at 9:30 a.m.  There's still time to sign up.  For more info click here.

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