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2013 Ride Against AIDS; 63 days, 54 cities, 4,000 miles!

Hi! My name is Kate and I am biking from San Francisco to Boston this summer to raise money for FACE AIDS & Partners in Health. Read more about my journey here...

Hi! My name is Kate Pipa, I’m about to graduate college from Northeastern University in Boston and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. This summer I’ve decided to ride a bike cross-country to support two fantastic organizations fighting HIV/AIDS – San Francisco-based FACE AIDS and Boston-based Partners in Health (PIH). A team of 8 of us, all college students or recent graduates, will leave the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area on June 21st to begin our 63 day journey as the 2013 Ride Against AIDS team.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 34 million people were living with HIV in 2011. 25 million people have lost their lives over the past three decades due to HIV/AIDS complications. Nearly 1 in every 20 adults in Sub-Saharan Africa are living with HIV which accounts for 69% of all people infected with the virus. What makes these figures worse is that there is no cure for the HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people living with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives. In 2011, more than 8 million people living with HIV received antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is still a gap in those who receive treatment though, and that’s where FACE AIDS and Partners in Health step in. (Facts from the World Health Organization website here.)

Each year, PIH provides ART to more than 20,000 people in Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Malawi. In addition, PIH takes a more holistic approach, providing housing, water, food, and psychosocial support to thousands of people living with HIV. From the PIH website, to paraphrase a Haitian proverb, providing medicine alone is equivalent to asking someone to dry their hands in the dirt after washing them. By providing social and economic support to people living with HIV, PIH addresses the root causes of poverty and disease, and not just the disease itself. And they do it while minimizing overhead costs; about 93 cents per dollar fundraised goes to programming while remaining an extremely transparent organization.

As I finish up my last semester and train throughout the spring (I am not super athletic yet but have been training at 6:30am three times a week with the November Project, more to come on this fun adventure later!), I plan to post on the blog here with updates of my journey along the way.

Please take a look at my Ride page and consider donating here: https://secure.qgiv.com/hobnob/account/20446

Also - questions & comments are always welcome. Don't hesitate to reach out to me at katepipa@gmail.com. Thank you for reading my post and for your support.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J D C March 24, 2013 at 05:26 PM
I think I quantified it with my last original sentence anyway.
Kate Pipa March 24, 2013 at 06:35 PM
"g" --> All of the money donated goes directly to FACE AIDS and Partners in Health (ranked the #5 NGO in the world in 2013 for impact, innovation, and sustainability via the Global Journal http://theglobaljournal.net/top100NGOs/), and will be directly benefitting those infected or affected with HIV/AIDS through holistic programming. I am saving my own money to purchase my bike and to pay for ride expenses. We are staying at home stays throughout the Ride with family, friends, friends of friends, friends of the organization etc. and if we do not know anybody we will be camping --not staying in hotels. Yes, food is costly, but it is something we would be paying for regardless. We have received a lot of in-kind food and nutrition donations from companies as well, to offset our costs as much as possible. Along the way we will be stopping at Boys & Girls Clubs and other youth organizations to raise awareness of the issues surrounding AIDS, and are hoping that the exposure we create throughout the country will be able to have a positive impact the fight to end HIV/AIDS within our lifetime. For more information on HIV/AIDS programming of Partners in Health you can check out their website here: http://www.pih.org/priority-programs/hiv-aids
g March 25, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Kate, What is your adventure costing you and your friends, and how much will go to any charity? I don't understand your adventure is something you'll enjoy, how much it will help others seems a question. How much will your adventure cost, with your friends, and how much will go to any charity? Eating on the road for example is much more expensive than eating at home. As to camping, equipment to camp, and fees are important. Staying with friends or family of friends, is also expensive, the food and extra housing could have been donated to a charity instead of consumed for your adventure. The economics of this adventure don't make sense to me. If you wish to help a charity, give to it. If you have friends and family who wish to help, encourage them to give. The income you could earn from a summer of work, instead of biking, could be donated to a charity. Your adventure is a net expense, and detracts from any income a charity would receive as best I can determine.
Ted B March 25, 2013 at 04:03 AM
g, did you even read her comment? "All of the money donated goes directly to FACE AIDS and Partners in Health..." Then you ask "...how much will go to any charity?" Reading comprehension is key.
Margaret Callahan March 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Kate don't even reply to g again. he should get off Patch and go volunteer somewhere he might add value. You go girl!

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