(EDGE) At this Sunday's 32nd annual AIDS Walk & Run Boston, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Boston's commitment to join the Fast-Track Cities Initiative.
"Fighting the stigma around HIV and AIDS is something every single person can do," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "We need to make it clear that we support those who are affected, and that's why I'm proud Boston is signing on to become a Fast-Track City. I want to thank each and every person who has stepped up, and spoken out, to support this vital work."
In doing so, Boston becomes the 12th city in the United States to join the global campaign to end the transmission of HIV. The other U.S. cities are Atlanta; Baltimore; Denver; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Providence, RI; San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Fast-Track Cities commit to taking the necessary public health, social justice, and access to healthcare initiatives to ensure that, by 2020, 90 percent of city residents living with HIV are aware of their status; 90 percent of those diagnosed with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment are virally suppressed.
"It is incredibly exciting that the city of Boston will join the nearly 60 cities from 50 counties who've signed on to the Fast-Track Initiative to end the transmission of HIV. Our state has been a national leader in fighting AIDS since the early day of the epidemic, and Boston has been a leader in our state," said AIDS Action Executive Director Carl Sciortino. "It is fitting that Mayor Walsh will make this announcement at AIDS Walk & Run Boston, which is the single largest HIV and AIDS awareness event in New England. Public awareness and education will be key to the city's efforts to end the transmission of HIV in Boston, and at a time when our president is proposing deep cuts to long established public health and social justice programs, it is deeply encouraging to see Mayor Walsh step forward to lead this effort."
The AIDS Walk & Run Boston took place Sunday, June 4 at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade. The event regularly draws thousands of participants, making it AIDS Action Committee's largest annual fundraiser. The Walk is 4.85 miles. The 5K Run is a competitive, timed event fully sanctioned by the USA Track & Field Association.
AIDS Action will support AIDS Walk & Run Boston with a robust social media outreach and fundraising plan. Walkers can fundraise through their Facebook and Twitter pages.