“Over the past couple of years, social media has become an integral part of our efforts to spread awareness about the HIV epidemic and communicate with our supporters. People are busy today and we find that the immediacy and brevity of social media is very appealing to the supporters and participants of AIDS Walk Philly and AIDS Run Philly. Additionally, we encourage our supporters to utilize social media to help spread awareness and gain sponsors.”
This comment comes just after the organization kicked off its 27th Annual AIDS Walk and Run. The event took place on Sunday, October 20, 2013, beginning at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Its purpose was to raise funds and awareness of the cause in the Philadelphia region.
It’s been well over 20 years and the disease is still as relevant as it’s ever been. Publicist for the organization’s event, Cari Feiler-Bender, provided these statistics, as confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
• As of 2008, there are nearly 114 infections for every 100,000 residents of the Philadelphia region population.
• At least 30,000 residents of the Philadelphia region are living with HIV.
• Of the 83% of those recently diagnosed, African Americans maintain the highest percentage of AIDS diagnoses in the Philadelphia region, being documented in 2010 at an appalling 65.8%, and for Latinos 16.9%.
Unfortunately, despite the AIDS Walk Philly event being a continuous success, bringing together nearly 15,000 people each year, the infection numbers are steadily increasing; Bender believes that social media can help fight that.
“I can tell you that I just did a search and we’ve had over 1.4 million impressions on Twitter in the past 7 days,” Bender says. “We see lots of people spreading awareness, which is great, but we also need to raise funds for our friends, family and neighbors living with HIV/AIDS in the Greater Philadelphia region.” Supporters are encouraged to visit www.aidswalkphilly.org to donate to the cause.
More information regarding the organization, the cause, prevention and the annual AIDS Walk Philly event can be found at www.aidsfundphilly.org