Meet The CEO
25 Years... That's a lot of Walking!
That's what D.A.P.'s friend, Scott Nevins, said when he appeared in the public service announcement as the host of our 25th Anniversary Palm Springs AIDS Walk. Whether this was your first Walk with us ... or your 25th ... we are so grateful to have the support of our community.
It's you who makes it possible for us to continue providing a full range of HIV-specialty and primary care and social services. Your support also helps us offer free and confidential HIV testing at locations throughout the Coachella Valley, so that we may connect to care the estimated 2,000 people who are unaware they are infected with the virus. Knowing your HIV status is more important than ever, now that it has been proven that people who begin taking the correct medications soon after being infected with HIV are 96% less likely to spread the virus to others.
Special thanks to ...
Presenting Sponsor, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, for their donation of $25,000.
Our partners at Walgreens who, for the third year, supported our Walk with their Red Ribbon promotion throughout the month of September at 29 local area Walgreens stores, contributing over $10000 toward our Walk goal.
Rick Draughon, who has raised more than a half million through his 15 years of Walking ... with more than $50,000 again in 2012!!
Our Star Walkers, Patrick Jordan, Tammy Fox, John Wong, and Anna Malatin.
Greater Palm Springs Pride for naming the 25th Anniversary Palm Springs AIDS Walk as the inaugural winner of their "Spirit of Stonewall Advocate of the Year Award."
But what comes after this quarter- century of working to end AIDS?
Anne and Kirk Douglas, along with former First Lady Betty Ford, chaired the very first Desert AIDS Walk – in a year that reported a total of 100,000 AIDS diagnoses. Today, about 1.1 million American citizens are living with HIV, of the more than 34.2 million around the world.
In July, the International AIDS Conference gathered together nearly 24,000 members of the global HIV/AIDS community in Washington, DC. There was no end to celebrity support from attendees including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John, Bill Gates, and many others who liberally used phrases like "AIDS-free generation" and "the end of AIDS."
But sessions at "AIDS 2012" highlighted the fact that the end of AIDS did not necessarily correlate with the end of HIV. Both preventive and therapeutic vaccines will be necessary – as well as a cure – to wipe HIV off the face of the earth.
The essential questions remain unanswered: Will world governments work together to pay for and to implement the solutions that science believes will work? Can we secure the political will to change health care systems, policies, and laws so that we can apply the science? Here in the U.S., how will the Affordable Care Act help to provide services for people with HIV?
As we are poised to once again mark World AIDS Day on December 1, what will President Barack Obama say about ongoing implementation of our National HIV/AIDS Strategy and its efforts to engage communities, increase access to care, and prioritize HIV in the federal budget? Will we see proof of his claim that "To extend lives and stem transmission, we need to make sure every HIV-positive American gets the medical care they need."
With your help, we will continue doing our part to being a part of the global solution ... by providing the necessary HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and advocacy efforts right here in our local community.
Until there's a cure ...
David Brinkman, MBA