Local and Community News
Minnesota AIDS Walk: Keeping Up the Pace
May 20, 2002
Marchers heard good and bad news at yesterday's Minnesota AIDS Walk. Today's AIDS drug therapies are helping patients look and feel better, but the public has become more complacent, and AIDS is no longer at the front of people's minds. "I think there's this false sense of security these days because people aren't getting as sick," said Randy Krogstad. More than 4,000 people are known to be living with HIV in Minnesota. The state experienced a 3 percent increase in new infections last year, according to the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP).
An estimated 12,000 people took part in Sunday's 6.2-mile walk along the Mississippi and Minneapolis and St. Paul. The event raised an estimated $650,000 for MAP and 21 other service organizations in Minnesota.
About 1,500 people took part in the first walk in 1987. "In the very beginning, people were afraid to come to the park because they were afraid people would think they have AIDS," said MAP Executive Director Loraine Teel. "The stigma of AIDS was -- and still is -- enormous. But it was more so 15 years ago."
Participants resembled a crowd that might attend any other benefit walk, with grandfathers, church groups, mothers pushing strollers and dogs on leashes. Some carried signs or wore photographs of loved ones who have died of AIDS complications. Some walkers remarked about the visible presence of so many corporate sponsors. Less visible this year, many said, was the presence of people noticeably sick with AIDS. This was another good sign, walkers said: a reflection of the medical advances.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
05.20.02; Kavita Kumar
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.