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15,000 Attend AIDS Walk New York, Raise More than $4 Million to Continue Fighting for the Rights of People Affected by HIV/AIDS

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Rallies Participants; Margaret Cho and the Stars of Rupaul's Drag Race Entertain in Post-Walk Show
5.18.2019
Contacts: 
Cub Barrett I 212-367-1561 I CubB@gmhc.org
Krishna Stone I 212-367-1016 I KrishnaS@gmhc.org
 

New York, NY (May 19, 2019) -- This year's AIDS Walk New York brought together a crowd of 15,000 to Central Park, raising more than $4 million for Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and other tri-state area HIV/AIDS service organizations. Appearing at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to continue to advocate for crucial funds for HIV research and to help lead the fight for equality for all LGBTQ Americans.

 
Gillibrand was one of many celebrities and politicians who inspired the crowd. POSE stars Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez; Miss Universe Catriona Gray; Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Frenchie Davis; top stars of RuPaul's Drag Race, including Crystal DeMure, Chi Chi DeVayne, Shangela, Ginger Minj, Milk, and Jiggly Caliente; and comedian Margaret Cho entertained and rallied the crowd to continue to work together toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
 
"As we enter the presidential election season, we need to stay focused on how to elevate the issue of ending HIV and AIDS at all levels of government -- and hold candidates and elected officials accountable for working with us toward our shared goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. "There are still nearly 40,000 new HIV infections across the United States every year, and ending the epidemic is going to require, above all, collaboration. The 15,000 people who came together today in Central Park not only raised money to help GMHC continue its vital work, but also sent a powerful message of solidarity to our leaders."
 
"With record low numbers of new HIV infections, New York City and New York State continue to make tremendous strides toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- thanks in large part to the impact of AIDS Walk New York over more than three decades," said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Senior Organizer of the event. "However, people living with HIV and other chronic conditions continue to face threats to lifesaving health care, as well as face a national climate that is hostile to at-risk populations. The $4,001,132 raised today, along with the community support, show that we're not backing down from our important work."
 
The Opening Ceremony featured U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; MJ Rodriguez and Tony Award winner Billy Porter (POSE); Andrea Navedo (Jane the Virgin); Nico Tortorella (Younger); Selenis Leyva and Dale Soules (Orange is the New Black); and Catriona Gray (Miss Universe). Broadway stars Bonnie Milligan (Head Over Heels), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Shuffle Along, Ragtime), and Frenchie Davis (American Idol and The Voice) entertained the crowd with stirring musical performances.
 
Other elected and public officials in attendance included U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler; New York State Assembly Members Richard N. Gottfried and David Weprin; and Johanne Morne, the Director of the New York State Health Department's AIDS Institute.
 
Founded in 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised nearly $160 million for GMHC and many other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout the tri-state area, and is the world's largest single-day HIV/AIDS fundraising event. The millions of dollars raised provide vital services for people living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS.
 
In addition to the traditional 10K walk through Central Park and the streets of the Upper West Side, the event also featured a 5-mile run contained entirely within the park.
 
The event's presenting sponsor was Delta Air Lines, the official airline of GMHC. Premier Sponsors were Gilead and ViiV Healthcare. Principal Sponsors were Barclays, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CAM4, Pepsico, the Keith Haring Foundation, Choice Health Plans SelectHealth, and Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller.
 
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About Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 13,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health, and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state, and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit www.gmhc.org.
 
About AIDS Walk New York: Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $155 million for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2018 alone, 20,000 participants, many of whom were members of nearly 2,000 corporate and community teams, raised over $4.4 million for GMHC and many other tri-state area AIDS service organizations. For more information, please visit ny.aidswalk.net.
 
About MZA Events: AIDS Walk New York was founded in 1986 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the AIDS Walk originator and has produced hundreds of public service campaigns and fundraising events, generating more than $400 million for major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit www.mzaevents.com.