AVOL Kentucky holds annual AIDS Walk to raise awareness and money for HIV testing and services

Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 9:34 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An annual walk held in downtown Lexington Sunday was meant to raise awareness for HIV.

After almost 30 years of the event, it was a different deadly disease that forced organizers to get creative to continue the tradition.

Each step is one closer to eradicating HIV completely which is the entire goal of AVOL Kentucky.

“AVOL’s mission is to end HIV and we are here to serve,” Executive Director Jon Parker said.

AVOL continues to use its annual AIDS Walk to raise awareness and money, funds that will go toward HIV testing and other social services for those infected and affected by aids.

COVID-19 is a hurdle that meant fewer walkers participating this year, but the level of support from the community remains the same.

“They have not let us down, they’ve continued to provide financial support for organizations like AVOL and other organizations as well,” Parker said. “We’re just blessed to be a part of this really great community.”

The event would usually draw hundreds of people, but because of the pandemic about 50 HIV Care Heroes are walking in representation of the entire community.

“These are folks who have continued to work throughout the pandemic serving people who are living with HIV, providing services, housing assistance, and HIV testing,” Parker said.

The event kicked off with speakers like State Representative Kelly Flood and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton whose background in healthcare gives her a personal tie to the cause.

“I did lots of patient care over a period of many, many years and it is something that is dear to my heart,” Mayor Gorton said.

Then, the HIV Care Heroes took off through downtown to continue the journey to a cure.

The goal of the fundraiser was to raise $38,000, and AVOL Kentucky had reached $36,000 before the walk even started.

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