The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach recently announced it will relaunch AIDS Walk in November.
The walk was originally organized by The Center, then the Long Beach AIDS Foundation took over. In all, it ran from 1987 to 2014, Center Executive Director Porter Gilberg said.
“This is kind of brand new for us,” Gilberg said. “The funding for HIV services in Long Beach depends on this. The Center knows how important it is this event continues… With this event, we’re making sure the funds raised are carried over to local organizations.”
Those organizations include St. Mary Medical Center’s C.A.R.E. Program and the AIDS Food Store, which have benefitted from past walks. More than $2 million has been raised in previous years, according to a release. Additional support this year will come from the Port of Long Beach.
Among The Center’s services are HIV/STD/STI testing, PrEP-HIV prevention pill, PEP-post exposure treatment, support groups and prevention programs. Most of the services are free to those who can’t afford it, and those who have insurance are asked to leave appointments available for those who can’t afford it.
“Many Long Beach residents receive services from these programs,” Gilberg said. “Anyone who registers to walk will be supporting them… This event will once again help sustain our community with critical funding for organizations that provide healthcare, social support and other basic needs to people impacted by HIV.”
At The Center, about 2,000 people receive free HIV testing annually, said Ismael Salamanca, director of health and wellness. Newly diagnosed people also are connected to…
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