Chase Brexton Health Care
Teams are forming now for the AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore on Sunday, May 6th at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, and competition is heating up!
One of the first teams assembled includes Shawn Carrick, who will participate in the event for a fourth year. Last year, Shawn achieved his personal goal of raising more than $750 for Chase Brexton Health Care’s HIV outreach and testing programs. He’s upped that goal for this year to $1,000, and has already raised $400!
Shawn shared some of his reasons for participating in the AIDS Walk with us.
Why do you support AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore?
The AIDS Walk & Run in Baltimore brings attention to the prevalence of HIV in Baltimore, but more importantly, it calls on those who are at risk to get tested and to get treatment. Funds raised through this event improve access to HIV testing and education for those who might not have a network of support.
Year after year, you’ve been one of the first people to sign up for the event. What drives you to get so involved?
Each year, I hear of people finding out that they are infected with HIV. With testing, PrEP, and treatment as prevention, this could be prevented. I participate in this event every year because I know that preventative measures and stopping the stigma associated with HIV are the keys to stopping the spread of this disease.
Is there someone in particular who has been affected by HIV or AIDS who you honor through these efforts?
HIV and AIDS has affected the lives of far too many people in Baltimore and beyond. In my mind, each step I take during the AIDS Walk & Run in Baltimore is reflective of one more person helped.
In your view, how significant is the need in Baltimore for increased awareness of HIV and AIDS testing and treatment?
Very significant, especially in the gay community, with gay males representing the majority of new infections. While the number of new cases has decreased over the years, there are so many options available now that these numbers should be much lower. Chase Brexton has programs to help everyone, regardless of their financial situation, to receive testing, treatment, or PrEP and prevent the spread of this disease.
Why should others get involved and sign up for AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore?
To help increase awareness around the need to get tested, get treatment, and take preventative measures. More so, to end the stigma around the disease. It’s possible that in the next generation, we could completely stop any new infections.
To sign up for the AIDS Walk & Run Baltimore and register your team, visit Baltimoreaidswalk.org.