FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lifelong, PCAF, and Spokane AIDS Network (SAN) join forces to launch End AIDS Walks across Washington State in September
Seattle, WA - Three of Washington State’s leading HIV/AIDS service organizations have joined forces to rename their largest awareness and fundraising events previously known as the South Sound AIDS Walk, the Spokane AIDS Walk, and the Seattle AIDS Walk. With a combined history of 68 walks spanning nearly over 30 years, this collaboration is a new and innovative approach that brings the Seattle, Spokane, and South Sound regions together around a common goal — to raise funds for H IV prevention and care services and to build awareness that, by preventing new infections, an end to AIDS in Washington State is near.
“After 28 years of walking, we wanted the name of the event to catch-up to the momentum and success around the advancements leading to HIV being a chronic, manageable condition,” states Ed Wilhoite, Lifelong’s Executive Director. “Because we truly are so close to a finish line. The partnership with PCAF and the Spokane AIDS Network made sense to us. The message of ending AIDS becomes stronger and more visible. Plus, only together can we reduce new infections enter a new era where, absent a cure, AIDS is no longer a threat. Now is not the time to lose focus.”
The three organizations, which collectively serve nearly 6,000 people living with HIV, are all part of the End AIDS Washington campaign launched on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2014 by Governor Jay Inslee. End AIDS Washington is a partnership of community stakeholders working together to reduce new HIV infections by 50% over the next five years. When the goal is reached in Washington, the HIV transmission rate will be one of the lowest in the United States.
Current rates of HIV infection in Washington have decreased slightly in recent years; however there are about 510 new cases each year and over 12,000 people estimated to be living with HIV.  People living with the disease may encounter challenges accessing and adhering to treatment or struggle to be accepted by their community. That’s where organizations like Lifelong, PCAF, and SAN come in, providing resources and support for years to come. The launch of the End AIDS Walks is a testament to a continued, unified effort to support those living with HIV/AIDS, reduce new infections, and end AIDS once and for all.
The End AIDS Walks are all operated independently of each other and benefit their local community. The Seattle and Spokane walks are held on September 26. The South Sound walk is held on September 12.
For more information on the End AIDS Walk in your community, visit EndAIDSWalk.org
Lifelong is the leading community health organization that serves people with chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, in Western Washington. We believe all people have a right to a roof over their head, healthy food to eat, and access to affordable healthcare. Lifelong delivers food, housing, and health services; collaborates with community organizations on the prevention and care of chronic disease; and advocates for effective HIV/AIDS policy. Simply put —we make health work. More info at lifelong.org.
The Spokane AIDS Network (SAN) is a community based, non-profit organization dedicated to minimizing the impact of and maximizing awareness about AIDS and other consequences of HIV infection on communities and individuals in the Inland Northwest. We provide emotional support to people living with HIV and their loved ones, encourage the existing support systems of persons living with HIV, and provide appropriate information and referrals with regard to services and resources. Additionally, SAN educates and provides outreach services to people involved in high-risk behaviors and the general public regarding HIV preventative measures. More info at san-nw.org.
Through education and service, PCAF prevents HIV infection, assists persons affected by HIV/AIDS, addresses related health problems, and combats discrimination in Pierce, Thurston and Lewis Counties. We’re dedicated to assisting persons living with HIV/AIDS to meet their needs for food, housing, healthcare, and personal support. We also provide extensive outreach, education and prevention programs including free HIV testing to help stop the spread of HIV and work to combat HIV related stigma. More info at piercecountyaids.org.
 Washington State Department of Health, End AIDS Washington 2020, an Overview