Chase Brexton Health Care aims to raise $150,000 to further expand HIV testing, awareness, and care programs during the Baltimore AIDS Walk & Music Festival 2019, presented by Quest Diagnostics, at Power Plant Live on Sunday, June 9th.

Proceeds from the AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore will support the HIV and AIDS programs offered by Chase Brexton and its community partners, including assistance with medications, case management services, and medical care. The two-mile course around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will be followed by a music festival and lunch at Power Plant Live featuring exciting local performers.

“Maryland and Baltimore’s HIV and AIDS diagnosis rates far exceed the rest of the country,” said Alexa Milanytch, Chase Brexton’s development director. “The generous support of our walkers, donors, and sponsors will help strengthen and expand programs to change the course of HIV infections in Baltimore and across Maryland and bring them to zero!”

Participants can register to walk or start a team and raise funds with their friends, at BaltimoreAIDSWalk.org. New this year is the community partner program, a chance for other non-profit organizations offering HIV services to join the event and keep half of the funds they raise; learn more at Chasebrexton.org/CommunityPartners.

The event will also help spread awareness of the “U=U” campaign in Maryland, a growing scientific consensus that persons living with HIV who take their medications and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners. The community-driven campaign is overseen by a coalition of local HIV-focused individuals and organizations in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department. For more information, visit Uequalsumaryland.org.

Maryland has the fifth highest rate of HIV infection in the US, according to the state Department of Health, and more than 32,000 Marylanders are currently living with the disease. In 2017, there were 231 new HIV diagnoses in Baltimore, and 1,040 statewide. An estimated 12 percent of people living with HIV in Maryland have not been diagnosed. The costs of managing HIV are high – according to the CDC, a single year of HIV treatment costs, on average, $26,752 and lifetime costs can exceed $440,000.

For more than three decades, Chase Brexton has maintained a leading role in battling HIV/AIDS. Now a multi-faceted health center offering a continuum of care to a diverse community, Chase Brexton continues to provide comprehensive HIV-targeted case management services. These services include physical exams; ongoing follow-up visits with patients; diagnostic tests; treatment for patients co-infected with Hepatitis B or C; nutritional assessments and consultations; and intensive patient health education and support for HIV medications.

In previous years, the Baltimore AIDS Walk has raised more than $300,000 to support Chase Brexton Health Care’s HIV/AIDS prevention, outreach, and testing services. Last year’s event saw more than 600 attendees come to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore to walk, run, and volunteer. Proceeds from previous AIDS Walks went toward the purchase and operation of Chase Brexton’s mobile clinic, which drives HIV testing and information into the communities which need it the most.

For more, visit Chasebrexton.org/HIVcare.

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