ABOUT & WHO BENEFITS
AIDS Walk New York is the world’s largest and most visible HIV/AIDS fundraising event.
ABOUT AIDS WALK NEW YORK
It was born in 1986 out of the anguish of gay men in neighborhoods from Greenwich Village to Harlem who were first besieged by the deadly new disease. It was nurtured by the passions of New York’s diverse communities of art, culture, and commerce so ravaged by the early HIV epidemic. It was steeled for the long haul by activists who knew that ending HIV/AIDS would require more than fighting the virus. It would also require confronting the social ills that fuel it—racism, sexism, homophobia, and poverty.
That is exactly what AIDS Walk York has been doing for decades. The durability of this event, like that of GMHC itself, is remarkable. Together, we withstood national leaders in the 1980s who ignored the health crisis, or worse. We weathered a severe spring rainstorm in 1992 that chilled and soaked our 20,000 participants to the bone—yet we still walked.
Following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, our supporters gathered that next May ‘New York Strong,’ producing a record crowd and sum raised. We survived the Great Recession of 2008 and its severe effects on our many supporters who work on Wall Street; and we maintained focus and fulfilled our mission during recent years of national turbulence on healthcare policy.
When COVID-19 hit New York City hard and fast in March 2020, like HIV had decades before, GMHC showed that responding to a new ‘Health Crisis’ was not only a matter of past heroism, but also of current capability and urgency. In just a few weeks, GMHC revised its services and AIDS Walk New York altered its format so as to reach people where they are and needed to be—AT HOME. GMHC began delivering meals, crisis counseling, and so much more to clients where they live. Concurrently, AIDS Walk New York pivoted into a star-studded simulcast that was a smashing success!
In 2022, we joyfully returned to Central Park on May 15, after a two year hiatus. The park radiated with energy and excitement as people and teams reconnected for the first live AIDS Walk New York since 2019. The day was a resounding success, and we look forward to another spectacular event in 2023!
GMHC is the primary beneficiary of AIDS Walk New York. The event also supports other tri-state AIDS service, social justice, and/or public health organizations through the Community Partnership Program (CPP). These groups are able to participate in AIDS Walk New York as fundraising teams, with proceeds directly benefiting their programs and services.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation’s leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, prevention services, and advocacy, serving thousands of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City, the epidemic’s largest U.S. epicenter. As the world’s first HIV and AIDS service organization, GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level.
In 1981, six gay men (and their friends) gathered in writer Larry Kramer’s living room to address the “gay cancer” and raise money for research. This informal meeting provided the foundation for what would soon become Gay Men’s Health Crisis. In 1982, an answering machine in the home of volunteer Rodger McFarlane acted as the first AIDS hotline—receiving over 100 calls the first night. Today, GMHC continues to pioneer HIV prevention, care and advocacy.