Thousands walk to raise awareness, find a cure for HIV/AIDS
Waterfront Park was a see of red Sunday.
Louisville, KY (WAVE) - Sunday afternoon, it was a sea of red shirts as some 3,000 people packed downtown Louisville to take part in the AIDS walk. Some people walked in support of those living with HIV and AIDS while others walked for very personal reasons. Along and around the waterfront, people walked in solidarity. Just about everyone wearing red shirts showing why they were walking.
"Walking for a cure," said Tyina Gordon as she walked the route. "Walking for everybody to just join together and fight this disease."
For about 3.2 kilometers, people like Benjamin Ireland, of Louisville, walked with purpose Sunday afternoon as part of the 2012 Louisville AIDS walk.
"Just to show support and awareness," he said. "It's just an important cause that everybody needs to be aware of."
For others, taking part in the walk is deeply personal. Dorothy Aldred's shirt said it simply. It read 'I walk for me.' "I am HIV positive, AIDS diagnosed once," Aldred said. "It's a rude awakening, I'm telling you."
She has lived with it since 2004. "It's rough," said Aldred. "Getting people educated on it is the main thing."
Aldred talked about what it is like living with the illness. "I've had people that say 'Don't sit on her bed. Don't drink after her. Don't hug her," said Aldred.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States. Twenty percent of whom do not know they are infected.
"I hope they one day find a cure," Aldred's sister, Carol Marler said.
Brad Hampton is the Director of the Louisville AIDS walk. "We hope that we helped raise awareness, especially with the giant AIDS ribbon," he said. "That the AIDS crisis is not over. That we still have no vaccine, we have no cure."
Sunday, people came together in a show of support and awareness for people like Aldred.
"It's heartwarming," Aldred said with a smile.
This year, the AIDS walk raised more than $207,000. All of the money raised will go to eight different organizations in Kentucky and Indiana to help people in our area who are living with HIV and AIDS.
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