US: Keep walking, keep talking — AIDS Walk strives to keep the conversation going about HIV

When it comes to helping in the fight against HIV, AIDS Walk & Run San Diego organizers are encouraging people to both walk the walk and talk the talk.

Leading up to this year’s 28th annual event Saturday, Sept. 30, The San Diego LGBT Community Center launched the “Keep Walking. Keep Talking” campaign. Participants were invited to share what they want to “Keep Talking” about with regards to HIV. Many addressed the need to continue the discussions about HIV prevention, current treatments and about ending the stigma associated with HIV. Some wanted to make special note of loved ones lost to the disease.

It is those conversations, Center officials say, that are vital to ending new HIV infections and getting those who are HIV positive to undetectable viral load levels so they cannot transmit the virus.

AIDS Walk really is the perfect vehicle to bring us all together, no matter what our experiences have been around HIV.

David Vance, 25, is the co-chair of The Center’s Young Professionals Council and also a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) coordinator for The Center. Vance says that the dialogue around HIV is helping more people understand the options that are available to protect themselves better, but that more work needs to be done.

“When I came into my job, I knew a lot of facts about HIV. I knew a lot about PrEP. I knew a lot about stigma and why it’s important to fight it,” Vance said. “But what I’ve really learned in working with people and talking about HIV is that you have to figure out how to talk about sexual health, number one, in a way that’s normalized, and number two, in a way that fits into people’s lives in a whole person way." Read more via LGBT Weekly