Actress Hilary Duff has signed on to
participate in the biggest AIDS fundraiser of the year, Sunday's Gay
Men's Health Crisis' AIDS Walk in New York City's Central Park.
The walk helps fund the nation's oldest
AIDS service organization. Founded 28 years ago, GMHC has evolved to
provide a myriad of support services for people living with AIDS,
including housing and employment services.
“People came to GMHC essentially to
die and our work was to help them die with dignity. Today, primarily
because of medications people are living,” GMHC CEO Dr. Marjoire
Hill told New York's CBS affiliate, CBS 2. “There is still no
cure, there is no vaccine.”
Duff will serve as co-host of the AIDS
Walk opening ceremony, and she will walk with her “Hilary Duff –
Walk with Love” team.
The actress is also part of the
pre-walk campaign. She has already taped an AIDS Walk PSA running in
New York and will throw the switch to illuminate the Empire State
Building red, the color synonymous with AIDS awareness, at Thursday's
AIDS Walk launch in Manhattan.
“The epidemic has been around for
some 27 some odd years and statistics are showing us that the
attention that people are paying to AIDS is falling from about 34%
awareness five years ago to, I think a shocking number, of 14%
today,” GMHC Director of Special Events Kenneth Cox told Charlotte
Robinson in an exclusive interview at OUTTAKEOnline.com.
“We have a responsibility to educate
young people about HIV/AIDS,” said Duff. “So when I hear about
how more young people are getting HIV because they don't understand
the risks of infection, it just seems so tragic and avoidable.”
AIDS Walk New York has grown to become
the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world, drawing more than
45,000 participants in 2008.
On the Net: Listen to Kenneth Cox's
entire audio interview at OUTTAKEOnline.com.
Learn more about the walk at AIDSWalk.net/NewYork.