Stories from the AIDS Walk & Run San Diego Community

Joe Gregore

EXTRA MILE CLUB - 18 YEARS

“I have been participating in AIDS Walk SD for over 18 years, each year as an extra mile member. I walk in memory of my many friends and chosen family who are no longer with us. Each step I take is to pay homage to the suffering and sacrifice they endured, especially those who risked their lives on clinical trials that led us to the advancements people with HIV/AIDS take advantage of today. During my walk, I usually take a moment internally to remember them, my “special angels” cause they should never been forgotten. I walk to raise funds to help San Diego HIV service organizations provide care and services to those living with HIV because I believe each person living with HIV/AIDS should have the care and quality of life we all deserve. I walk with my team, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, proudly. We not only sing during the opening ceremonies, we also have a team that walk. We have had the honor of being the top non-profit fundraising team. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has sponsored, donated and supported me throughout my 18+ years participating in AIDS Walk SD as well as my chorus family, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. Huge thank you to everyone involved with AIDS Walk SD especially the staff and volunteers.”

Karla Torres

EXTRA MILE CLUB & TEAM CAPTAIN

“My husband, children and I started walking in AWSD in the year of 2005 in support of the many patients, family and friends that were not able to walk the cause.  We have so many individuals that due to complicated health conditions related to their HIV or due to stigma are not able to walk but yet appreciate when others walk on their behalf.  I am the Associate Director of HIV Services at SYHealth, one of the largest HIV providers in San Diego County.  SYHealth provides services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Southeast and South Bay San Diego. We currently serve approximately 1,500 of the 18,000 HIV+  and PrEP individuals living in San Diego County. Today, we know the best weapons to fight back against HIV and prevent its spread are – 1) getting tested at least annually, 2) knowing your HIV status and that of your partner, 3) using prevention tools like condoms, PrEP and PEP, 4) staying connected to medical care & medication and 5) getting to undetectable viral loads.  I encourage, motivate and empower our entire organization to be part of AWSD year after year.  Our wonderful HIV department puts various fundraising activities throughout the year. It is thanks to their hard work and effort that we have been able to raise funds that eventually comes back to our department in grant form from AWSD and SDHDF to continue supporting our patients. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we at SYHealth will be part of AWSD!”

Jerry Turner

EXTRA MILE CLUB & TEAM CAPTAIN
Managing director at POZabilities

“In this, my 30th year with AIDS, I walk in memory of those who have died and in honor of long-term survivors.”

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