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Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver and 20,000 others attend AIDS Walk NYC

Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver and 20,000 others attend AIDS Walk NYC

Charlie Carver, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannels (in 'Mary' T-shirts) with an AIDS Walk volunteer at Sunday's event

An estimated 20,000 gathered in Central Park, Manhattan, yesterday for the annual AIDS Walk New York.

The event first took place in 1986. Since that time, it has grown in size and raised over $154million for GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis). Yesterday’s AIDS Walk – the 33rd – raised approximately $4.4million.

The Deutsche Bank AIDS Walk contingent
The Deutsche Bank AIDS Walk contingent (Photo: @jontilli | Instagram)

The walk traditionally consists of a 10-km walk around Central Park. This year’s event also included a 5-mile run sponsored by Macy’s – again within the park.

Celebrities in attendance included Broadway stars Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, and Andrew Rannels, currently appearing in Broadway-revival, Boys in the Band. Other attendees included Michael Urie; Nico Tortorella; Rosie Perez; and Antoni Porowski, Tan France, and Jonathan Van Ness (from the re-booted Queer Eye).

AIDS Walk NYC
(Photo: @outgreekfest | Instagram)

Post-walk entertainment came from the Pointer Sisters and several contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, including Phi Phi O’Hara, Milk, Trinity Taylor and Ivy Winters.

Queer Eye stars Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski and Tan France with an AIDS Walk volunteer
Queer Eye stars Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski and Tan France with an AIDS Walk volunteer (Photo: @anchors_a_rae | Instagram)

AIDS Walk raises ‘vital funds’

In a statement issued afterwards, GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie said, ‘New Yorkers once again demonstrated their unwavering compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS.

‘Today we assembled in massive numbers and raised vital funds that will help GMHC continue to be a national leader in the response to HIV/AIDS, while moving our community closer to our goal of ending the epidemic by 2020.

AIDS Walk NYC
(Photo: @caribbeanequalityproject | Instagram)

Approximately 100,000 people in the New York tri-state area are believed to be living with HIV. However, around one in five are not aware that they have the virus. This is despite the fact early diagnosis and treatment is likely to ensure a long and healthy life.

The money raised goes to GMHC and around 40 other organizations fighting HIV and supporting those affected.

AIDS Walk NYC 2018
(Photo: @icap_columbiau | Instagram)

‘There’s an alarming trend against truth coming out of Washington, D.C. these days, but here in New York, facts still matter,’ added Craig R. Miller, Founder and Senior Organizer of the event.

‘While the current administration chooses to ignore the fact that AIDS remains a serious threat in this and other communities, those who participated in AIDS Walk New York today, raising $4,416,919, continue to be loud, strong, and determined.’

Dom and Nick Spence at AIDS Walk
Dom and Nick Spence (Photo: @dom_and_nick | Instagram)

‘The most moving was Trinity Taylor sharing that her birth mother died of complications from HIV/AIDS’

Two of those attending were social media influencers and husbands Dom and Nick Spence.

‘It was our first time joining the walk and we had a great experience,’ they told Gay Star News.

‘Gay, black American men are still seeing alarming rates of HIV transmission so it was important for us to support this initiative. It was also inspiring to see people from all walks of like come out and show support.

Women at AIDS Walk NYC 2018
(Photo: @wepa_chicks | Instagram)

‘It will take support from all communities to help put an end to this disease and yesterday’s turnout showed that the NY community is committed to doing that. We are both thankful to work at companies that put together teams to join the walk and raise funds for the cause.

‘After the walk we were able to watch a few fantastic performances from some of the RuPaul Drag Race queens. The most moving was Trinity Taylor sharing that her birth mother died of complications from HIV/AIDS. It was a very moving tribute.’

AIDS Walk New York 2018
(Photo: @kaslcp | Instagram)

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