May 20 Means AIDS Walk New York

Participants in last year’s AIDS Walk New York. | Photo by Donna Aceto

BY PAUL SCHINDLERAn event that Gay Men’s Health Crisis has produced for more than 30 years is due to hit Central Park again on Sunday, May 20. In AIDS Walk’s many years, just under 900,000 people have walked, raising nearly $150 million to combat HIV and AIDS. Though GMHC is the primary beneficiary, dozens of other groups in the tri-state area that are members of the Community Partnership Program also receive funding from the annual 10k trek.

Last year, roughly 20,000 participants raised about $4.6 million.

At last May’s AIDS Walk, Kelsey Louie, GMHC’s CEO, took note of the new political climate in the nation and the threat it posed toward the funding of critical health needs, saying, “We issued the call, and AIDS Walk participants responded by showing up — to help people living with HIV; to help people in need of food, housing, and care; and to help certain elected leaders see what compassion looks like.”

Craig Miller, the event’s senior organizer, took more direct aim at Republican efforts at that time to dismantle the Affordable Care Act implemented during the Obama administration, saying, “The noise, negativity, and nonsense out of Washington cannot drown out this demand from New Yorkers: We refuse to allow healthcare discrimination against people with HIV, diabetes, heart disease, and dozens of other ‘pre-existing conditions.’ We are fighting lawmakers that seek to strip away healthcare from millions. Our pre-existing conditions of compassion and unity will overcome efforts to divide and exclude.”

Javier Muñoz, the out gay, HIV-positive actor then starring in the title role of “Hamilton,” at the 2017 AIDS Walk. | Photo by Donna Aceto

At this year’s event, sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. in Central Park, and a 9:15 opening ceremony will feature Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Hunter Emery, Tan France, Annie Golden, Selinis Leyva, Rosie Perez, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Mercedes Ruehl, and Michael Urie, among many.

The Post-Walk Show will include performances by the Pointer Sisters, “American Idol” Frenchie Davis, and half a dozen stars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

For complete information or to register, visit

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