Annual walk celebrates 30 years of “sole” with a day of entertainment, food and live music to benefit local HIV and AIDS advocacy organizations
AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) will host the 30th annual AIDS Walk Austin at the newly renovated Republic Square on Sunday, October 29. The day of live music, food and entertainment will raise funds and awareness for 10 local HIV and AIDS advocacy organizations, including AIDS Services of Austin. Highlights of this year’s programming include a live performance by The Nightowls, a DJ set by 97.5 Pride Radio, a pre-walk yoga session hosted by Eastside Yoga and an after-party bar crawl. Interested walkers are encouraged to pledge their support and participation before the event at aidswalkaustin.org.
“Over the last 30 years, we have taken the steps towards progress and a healthier future for our community,” said Paul Scott, chief executive officer of AIDS Services of Austin. “With the creation of life saving treatments and preventative medicines, we have the tools to build an HIV free generation. However, there is still no cure and until we reach our goal of zero new HIV transmissions, we will keep walking.”
The theme for this year’s AIDS Walk is “celebrating 30 years of sole,” which represents the great strides that HIV/AIDS services in Central Texas have taken over the past few decades. Through quality case management and helping clients access new medications and treatments, ASA has seen a 93 percent reduction in client deaths due to AIDS-related complications since the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1994. The community is invited to do something good for the “sole” and take steps towards raising support for a healthier future for friends and neighbors living with HIV.
AIDS Walk Austin attracts hundreds of people annually for an afternoon of celebration, solidarity and remembrance of those affected by HIV and AIDS. Registration and activities begin at 11:30 a.m. and last until 3:30 p.m. at Republic Square, located at 422 Guadalupe Street.
Participants can enjoy a number of festivities at the park, including food trucks, a live performance by the soul band The Nightowls, and pop ups by a variety of local vendors. In addition to live music, AIDS Walk Austin sponsor 97.5 Pride Radio will be playing music and hosting giveaways on site throughout the day. New to this year, the walk will kick off with a 30 minute stretch and yoga session led by Eastside Yoga instructors. Immediately following, the event will culminate in a 2.5-mile walk routing through downtown that goes past the Capitol.
The fun continues afterwards with a post-walk bar crawl on 4th street. Sellers Underground will create a specialty cocktail with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to ASA. Additional participating bars are to be announced. All bar crawl participants must be 21+.
ASA is the largest HIV and AIDS service organization in Central Texas working to enhance the health and well-being of the community and individuals affected by HIV and AIDS. Created by ASA, AIDS Walk Austin aims to raise funds to directly support education and prevention of HIV and AIDS, with 83 percent of funds raised going to services in Austin. ASA’s goal is to raise $240,000 at the walk this year, continuing the momentum from the 2016 walk that earned more than $241,000 for HIV and AIDS agencies across Austin.
Along with the 30th anniversary of the AIDS Walk, this year ASA is celebrating its 30th anniversary as an organization. The nonprofit recently announced the launch of its clinical capacity project in partnership with The Moody Foundation, which supports the renovation and capital needs of establishing a medical clinic serving HIV-positive and high-risk negative individuals. The medical clinic is planned to open Spring 2018.
Participants can register for the AIDS Walk as individuals or groups and will receive an AIDS Walk Austin t-shirt with an encouraged donation of $25 per person. Dogs on a leash are welcome to attend the walk. Volunteer opportunities are available, and interested groups or individuals can sign up at aidswalkaustin.org.