Jim Nixon - Rider # 226
I don’t talk much about how much HIV/AIDS has impacted my life. I’m not sure if it’s too personal or it’s just easier to not talk about it. But this year I have committed to ride in the 15th Annual Smart Ride – a 2-day, 165-mile, Miami-to-Key-West bike ride, on November 16th and 17th, 2018 – and I don’t feel right asking for your hard-earned money without telling you why I am riding.
This October will be the 30th World AIDS Day! Wrap your head around that! The first reported case was in December 1981, which is a very long time for those that have struggled through loss, struggled through care and still struggling to live with HIV.
Being HIV-positive is still more than a just medical issue, it’s a financial burden. Medication can cost thousands per month for those without insurance. Social stigma still exists even in the communities most impacted HIV/AIDS. Despite education, medical advancement and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), diagnoses continue to rise in Florida. In 2017, Florida led the nation in new HIV infections and has seen a steady incline in diagnosis since 2013.
People living with HIV/AIDs are constantly in fear of judgment and prejudice because of being infected. The success of HIV antiretroviral and pre-exposure treatment have ended the genocide of the 80s and early 90s, but still, more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States.
Regular testing is Imperative! 135,986 people are estimated to be living with HIV in Florida, accounting for 21,214 (15.6%) who are unaware of their HIV status. 85% of the 4,972 diagnosed with HIV in 2016 had documented HIV-related care within 3 months of diagnosis.82% of PLWH in care had a suppressed viral load. and 86% of PLWH that continue in care had a suppressed viral load.
Money raised through the Smart Ride ensures all people with HIV in Florida have access to the care they need. Last year’s Smart Ride 14 (held Jan 2018 due to Hurricane Irma), raised $830,245.00. It is the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country that 100% of what is raised goes to AIDS Service Organizations in Florida. GUARANTEED.
For all the money raised as a rider, 50% is divided amongst all the benefiting agencies; and 50% I decide which benefiting agencies your money goes to. As part of Team Wheeling Warriors, I commit to you the 50% of my raised funds will come back to our community and impact those served in our area!
All benefiting agencies will earmark the money toward direct services and education, to include pharmaceutical care, residential assistance, psychosocial services, dental care, holistic care, housing, medical care, prenatal and child care, prevention, and education.
I plan to host a few fundraisers over the next 6 month to help me hit my goal of $5,000. It’s a big number and I am asking for your help to achieve it! Help me make a difference in the lives of people living in our community. Your donation will make a significant difference in the lives of those at risk, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.