Virtual AIDS Walk Slated for May 16

Sir Elton John and David Furnish will be honored at this year's virtual event.
REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

More than a half-dozen cities are collaborating for a virtual “AIDS Walk: Live at Home” event on May 16 featuring a star-studded slate of celebrities eager to raise money for HIV/AIDS service organizations.

New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Austin, Milwaukee, and Seattle are participating in the event, which will be broadcast live at 1p.m. EST on May 16 on AIDSWalk.net. The event is being led by GMHC New York and the AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation.

“AIDS Walk: Live at Home will reflect the strength and individual character of all six landmark events and the communities that embrace them year after year,” said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie, Isaac Rodriguez of the AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation, and Craig R. Miller, who founded AIDS Walks in New York and San Francisco.

Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, while other celebrities slated to appear include “Pose” actor Billy Porter, choreographer and community activist Rosie Perez, singer and dancer Ann-Margret, Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Danielle Brooks, Tony and Grammy Award-winning actress Heather Headley, and stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Participants say the event will bring attention to racial injustice and shed light on the experience of marginalized communities. In a statement, one of the groups benefiting from the program said the event would focus on communities of color who are often hit hardest by HIV/AIDS.

“In Washington State and around the country, we continue to see Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities disproportionately impacted by new HIV cases,” Claire Neal, the CEO of Lifelong, an organization supporting people living with chronic health conditions, including HIV/AIDS, said in a press release. “We are excited to work hand-in-hand with like-minded organizations throughout the nation collaborating on AIDS Walk: Live at Home.”

Nearly 900,000 people have previously gathered at the in-person events for AIDS Walk New York, raising nearly $155 million over the last 35 years. In 2020, AIDS Walk New York changed from hosting an in-person walkathon to a virtual event due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Viewing parties will be held at the Central Park Boathouse in New York and the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will go to GMHC, Vivent Health, AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation, CrescentCare, Lifelong, and many other HIV/AIDS organizations.

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