The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1.1 million people in this country over age 13 are living with an HIV infection, including as many as 207,000 who are living with it but have not yet been diagnosed.
The diagnosis of AIDS today is no longer necessarily the death sentence that it was when the disease emerged on a wide scale in the 1980s, but that does not mean it is not a personal and public health challenge.
Thousands of people will run and walk this Sunday in support of health care and other services provided by the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. The AIDS Walk Wisconsin is chaired this year by Tim Gunn, the co-host of the fashion competition show “Project Runway.” While Gunn is technically an honorary chairman, he tells Lake Effect’s Bonnie North his interest in the field is very real.
"I remember, only too vividly, the devastation that AIDS had on the art and design communities in this nation, especially in the 80s," says Gunn. His personal connections to the issues and people who have lived with the disease have only made his ambition to fight the disease stronger.
"AIDS Walk Wisconsin is something I feel tremendously honored to be part of. And I'm so proud to stand with Wisconsin and their fight to help prevent AIDS, because Wisconsin has been one of, if not the, most successful states in the nation when it comes to AIDS prevention," says Gunn.
Tim Gunn is co-host of the television show, “Project Runway.” He’s serving as honorary chair of AIDS Walk Wisconsin, which is this Sunday morning, beginning at the Festival Grounds on the lakefront. Online registration is now closed, but you can still register on the day of the event at the Festival Grounds.