The 21st Walk to STOP AIDS is this weekend, Sunday, September 26, 2010, Sawyer Point, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. On-site registration opens at 9:00 a.m. Walkers begin at 10:00 a.m.

The Walk to STOP AIDS is a scenic 5-mile riverfront walk which begins and ends at Sawyer Point. The course runs along the Ohio River to Paul Brown Stadium Plaza, Covington Kentucky Riverwalk, Historic Newport and then across the Purple People Bridge. A pre and post walk festival includes continental breakfast, fitness pro warm ups, route refreshments, complimentary massages, entertainment, lunch and more.

Participants collect pledges to support STOP AIDS and the minimum cost to register for the walk is $10. Awards will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place walkers and teams who raise the most funds. All participants are eligible for additional prizes from generous event sponsors including: Radio-One – 100.1 WIZF, 100.3 Mojo & 1230 The Buzz, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., Cincinnati Magazine, CityBeat, Cincinnati Frontrunners, Coca-Cola, Dixie Chili, Fifth Third Bank, Klostermans, Pomeroy Computer Resources, Sprint, Scott Knox: Attorney at Law, Starbucks, Reach Magazine, Steamex/Eastern, Trauth Dairy, Vitas and Walgreen's.

Since 1990, through this event, Greater Cincinnati community has embraced the mission of STOP AIDS by pledging hundreds of thousands of dollars toward a prevention and cure for AIDS. The walk is the largest single fundraiser for the agency. With funding cuts and decreases in giving from most of the agency's traditional sources, revenues from this event are crucial to the agency.

"This walk is just as vital today as it was when we founded it 21 years ago," stated event chairperson, Kathy Nardiello. "New at-risk populations are being identified daily. Couple that with the already thousands of people we service yearly in our education and prevention programs and its obvious how critical Walk funds are to these outreach efforts. In terms of AIDS itself, Nardiello comments, "A general sense of complacency regarding AIDS prevails in our community. People read about and see advancements in treatment and interpret it to mean the AIDS crisis is over. Realistically, there is no cure for AIDS. Our patients live with this disease daily."

  • STOP AIDS was founded in 1983. At that time, the term AIDS had only been in use for a year and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS was just being discovered. Today, the AIDS virus is better understood and can often be managed successfully with appropriate treatment. The profile of those affected by AIDS and the HIV virus has changed dramatically.
  • Over half of new infections happen in the African-American community.
  • 25% of new infections occur in people age 20 and under.
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death among African-American men 25-44.
  • An estimated 6,000 local residents are HIV positive and most are unaware of their status.

The mission of STOP AIDS is to provide support services for HIV/AIDS infected individuals, their families, friends and loved ones. Currently STOP AIDS offers the following services at no cost to its clientele: Case management, financial assistance, transportation, housing, food/nutrition, medications, dental care seasonal assistance (school supplies, air conditioners, etc.), crisis intervention, mental health & counseling referrals, support groups, prevention counseling & education.

For additional information about the agency call (513) 421-2437 or register online for the 21st Annual Walk to STOP AIDS: www.stopaidscincinnati.org.