South Dallas AIDS Walk holds kick-off party at Anatole

Posted on 11 Aug 2011 at 7:46pm

AIN and DFW Pride Movement will also benefit from the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation’s 2nd annual event, scheduled for March 2012

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

The Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation named AIDS Interfaith Network and the DFW Pride Movement as additional beneficiaries for the 2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk set for next spring.

The second annual walk kicks off with a launch party at Nana at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Teams can register then. Anyone interested may attend. A $20 donation is requested.

About 500 people turned out for the first walk earlier this year, which raised $11,000.

Chisom Foundation Executive Director Auntjuan Wiley said his goal for the second walk is $100,000. To achieve that goal, said he started planning for the event much earlier this time.

“We’re reaching out to more sponsors and vendors,” he said. “And we will increase the number of walkers.”

Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute, Walgreens and K104-FM and KRNB 105.7 are already signed as Walk sponsors and Wiley said he is looking for more.

He said that he wants to bring in more college and high school students, and he plans to have an ambassador on each college campus to organize teams of fundraisers and walkers.

He also wants to get many more high school students involved.

The Chisom Foundation helps people with HIV maintain their COBRA insurance, pay for medications and obtain DART passes.

DFW Pride Movement provides social support within the black LGBT community and holds its main event this year Sept. 29 — Oct. 2. The organization also provides the educational programs during the week of Dallas Black Pride, as well as HIV prevention programs throughout the year.

AIN’s programs include the Daire Center adult day care, a meals program, pastoral services, client advocacy and transportation services.

“The majority of our clients are from South Dallas,” said Travis Gasper, development director of AIN. “South Dallas is one of the hardest-hit areas of the country for new HIV infections so it was a natural fit for us.”

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control found that the HIV epidemic is disproportionately affecting young black gay men. New infections are occurring among African-Americans at eight times the rate among whites. Black males now make up 30 percent of estimated cases.

The 2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk will be held on March 24.

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