Raffa Partner Dennis Shine is in training. From June 2-8, 2013, he’ll be bicycling as part of the AIDS/LifeCycle. It’s a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.
And, Raffa is on board as well. Dennis’ ride was the focus of Raffa’s April Denim Days, and Team Raffa came through! The staff raised more than $3,000 – the largest sum raised during any Denim Day so far! (And we’re aren’t done yet – our staff fundraising continues.) Dennis encouraged staff to push the amount they could raise by promising to personally match their total. And, the total raised is also always matched by Tom Raffa. Once everything is totaled, Team Raffa will have helped Dennis more than meet his fundraising goal of $10,000!
In explaining why he’s taking part and why the issue is important to him, Dennis shared some startling statistics:
- 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States, with a fifth unaware of their status. Since the epidemic began, an estimated 1.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with AIDS.
- In 2010, over 47,000 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in 46 states and over 33,000 people throughout the USA were diagnosed with AIDS.
- This epidemic is not just a “gay disease.” Statistics show about 20% of 2010 diagnoses are women and 86% of the women diagnosed trace the HIV transmission through heterosexual contact. African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS.
- Based on the same study the numbers are even more staggering if we look at the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide: Over 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and it is estimated half of the adults are women. Approximately 400,000 children were infected with HIV in a single year.
Raffa will share updates during Dennis’ 550-mile on Facebook, so check there during the first week of June. You can also follow Dennis’ progress via his fundraising and personal blog page (where you can also donate to support his efforts!).
In his fundraising outreach, Dennis noted, “We’ll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.”