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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingFifteen hundred cyclists and volunteers are pedaling their way down the California coast to raise money and awareness for HIV and AIDS services. The fundraiser is called AIDS Lifecycle.
Last night, the bikers pitched tents in Aptos. Today they rode roughly one hundred miles down the Salinas Valley. Dr. Kim Mulvihill is riding with them this evening in King City. They’ve got roughly four hundred miles to go before the end of the road in L.A.
To understand why so many people are pedaling so many miles, you have to go back to when the first cases of AIDS were reported. Almost 23 years ago HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, quietly slipped into San Francisco¹s Castro District and unleashed a lethal force.
Dr. John Greenspan: “It was a pretty hopeless situation. And we could do very little for our patients, except make them comfortable as they passed through the stages of the infection to death.”
Twenty-three years later, in some sense, the situation remains the same, if not worse.
Dr. John Greenspan: “There is no cure for HIV or AIDS right now. I'm not sure there ever will be.”
Padian: “I think its difficult to sort of catch up with the amount of new infections, I mean it’s phenomenal.”
Sadiq: “What is very alarming about the epidemic now is that more infections are being found in women than in men.”
Dr. John Greenspan: “The problem hasn¹t gone away. It hasn¹t even reduced in severity. It’s become more complicated.”
Forty six million people are now living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. Twenty million people have died. Fourteen thousand new infections occur each day around the world, and fifty thousand new infections take place each year in the United States.