BANGOR, Maine — More than 100 locals walked in the downtown area Saturday, raising awareness that HIV-AIDS is still a problem in Maine, the country and the world.
“Until the disease goes away, we’re not going away,” Patsy Murphy of the Eastern Maine AIDS Network said before the event. “HIV-AIDS is still an issue. It’s still a problem.”
The Bangor AIDS Walk was one of nine held across the state over the weekend to spotlight the disease and raise funds to support programs that help those living with the virus and efforts to prevent its spread.
“We’ve got dogs and babies” and marti gras beads, Murphy said on Saturday as she walked with the group of around 120 people along the Penobscot River waterfront. “We’re getting toots and waves” from people along the route.
The Eastern Maine AIDS Network was able to raise more than $4,000 in pledges, and all of the funds raised statewide will be matched by the National AIDS Fund in partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“The dollars raised here stay here,” Murphy said.
Even in these hard economic times, residents of Maine have been very giving, said Andrew Bossie of the Maine AIDS Alliance based in Augusta.
“We have exceeded last year,” he said. “We’re due to raise over $50,000 statewide, all to be matched by the national AIDS network. I’m pretty pumped.”
Those interested in finding out more about HIV-AIDS or who want to make a donation, can contact Bossie at the Maine AIDS Alliance, 899-9983.