SAN FRANCISCO/ LOS ANGELES—June 2, 2013—Participants of AIDS/LifeCycle 2013 begin their 545-mile bicycle journey today from San Francisco to Los Angeles having raised a record-setting $14.2 million to support San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. Their accomplishment shatters the event’s previous fundraising peak and establishes a new world record by nearly one million dollars.
“I’m absolutely astounded and enormously grateful for the 20-year fundraising record set by this year’s riders and roadies,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, “especially since the need for these funds has never been greater. Today we have the tools to stop the spread of the disease and to help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives, but the epidemic is far from over. The AIDS/LifeCycle community, which includes riders and roadies of all ages and from 18 different countries, is essential to funding the Center’s life-saving services for people who might not otherwise be able to afford them."
By the time this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle ends, participants will mark two huge milestones: two decades of riding and 20 million miles. Collectively, since the event was founded as California AIDS Ride in 1993, cyclists will have ridden 20 million miles to help end AIDS and provide care for those living with the virus. That’s equivalent to traveling back and forth to the moon more than 40 times, or around the world 800 times.
“It’s difficult to find a community more dedicated to a cause than the participants of AIDS/LifeCycle, and this year’s record fundraising shows it,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “At a time when HIV/AIDS services face potentially devastating cuts at all levels of government, it’s tremendously encouraging to see the AIDS/LifeCycle community step up in such a substantial way to make sure we can continue to provide life-saving services to all people living with or at risk for HIV.”
Despite remarkable progress that has been made since the disease was first reported in 1981, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. The infection rate continues to rise among gay and bisexual men—the only group for which this is the case—with communities of color especially hard hit. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in five people infected with HIV doesn’t know it.
AIDS/LifeCycle’s Premier Presenting Sponsor is So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. Presenting Sponsors are The Shopoff Group and FedEx. Other sponsors include Abbvie, Gilead Sciences, and Wells Fargo. The official Bike Sponsor is Cannondale, and the official Media Sponsor is Instinct Magazine.
For more information or to donate to a cyclist, visit www.aidslifecycle.org.
Registration Open for AIDS/LifeCycle 2014!
Registration has opened for AIDS/LifeCycle 2014, which will take place June 1–7, 2014. Before this year’s event ends on June 8, registration for next year’s AIDS/LifeCycle is being offered for only $50, a savings of $45! To take advantage of the registration discount, go to www.aidslifecycle.org and enter the discount code ALC2014.
The riders and volunteer roadies of AIDS/LifeCycle form a diverse, friendly community where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs—regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic background. Riders start at all levels of fitness, and regular training rides help them get ready to ride—even if they haven’t been on a bike in years (or ever)! The AIDS/LifeCycle staff offers support to help participants achieve their fundraising goals.
AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully-supported, seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It’s a life-changing ride—not a race—through some of California’s most beautiful countryside. AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation and is designed to advance their shared interest to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. Visit us at sfaf.org.
ABOUT L.A. GAY & LESBIAN CENTER
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights, and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing, and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts, and much more. Visit us at www.lagaycenter.org.