Walkers helped give city AIDS organizations a big boost, with hundreds out to support the annual fundraising event held at Churchill Square.
Organizer Laure Keegan said the $112,000 raised allows HIV Edmonton to be flexible when programs or needs come up that fall outside of the grants they receive.
“That gives us money that we can put into creative and innovative programs,” she said. “It allows us to say yes instead of no.”
AIDS has gradually moved from being a fatal illness to a chronic one, but Keegan said people shouldn’t be passive and they would like to see more people get tested.
“It may not be the 80s, but we don’t have a cure and people are still getting infected, so people do have to get tested.”
Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn took part Sunday and was the top fundraiser as he has been for several years. Hawn brought in just over $6,000 according to organizers and said he focuses on the AIDS walk, because it can be overlooked.
“I make a special effort for this one because it doesn’t get the attention that some of the other ones do.”
Hawn said the disease is also still misunderstood and better education is necessary.
“There is still stigma attached, people still look at this as a disease of the LGBT community and it is not. It is a worldwide disease that affects everyone.” – MP Laurie Hawn