21 reasons to hit the streets for AIDS Walk

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Hundreds in gay Atlanta know that getting up for Sunday’s AIDS Walk will be the most rewarding thing they do all day. Hundreds more trying to ignore the issue are one reason we still need it. Here are 21 more.

A long, hard-fought 33 years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic and heading into the 24th annual AIDS Walk Atlanta, we already know that, yes, gay men really are still this clueless about HIV testing. But AIDS cases in the U.S. are on the decline. That is, unless you’re gay.

Luckily, as the motto for the AIDS WAlk event says, there is hope. “I Am Hope,” and you can be hope too to benefit AID Atlanta or any of several walk teams raising funds for other local AIDS service organizations. So if startling stats and crucial fundraising won't get you out of bed on Sunday morning, an awesome mix of community, celebrity, reverence and revelry just might. Check it out:

 

Go for the friends.

 

 

Lots of friends.

 

 

Be there for the Pride.

 

 

Lots of Pride.

 

Those friendly proud faces shined a bit brighter last year. That's when fundraising topped $1million for the first time in several years after a few “almosts.” The goal is to meet or better it this year.

 

See some famous faces.

 

The one and only Sandra Bernhard serves as 2014 grand marshal on Sunday after two AID Atlanta benefit performances on Saturday. Read our interview.

 

Experience the AIDS Quilt.

 

Panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display in Piedmont Park.

 

Feel the energy.

 

 

Make time for reverence.

 

 

And revelry.

 

 

See who's Ready 4 Hope.

 

A sexy R4H team partied all year to raise $45,000 – and counting – for the event. They’ll be out in force in their signature red.

 

Two words: Beer bust.

 

It wouldn’t be a local gay event without a beer bust in the mix. The gay jocks of Atlanta Bucks rugby host this one at Frogs Cantina after the walk on Sunday and donate a portion of your bottomless brew to the final AIDS Walk tally.

 

One word: Hunks.

 

 

Three words: Beer bust hunks.

 

 

So whether you run.

 

 

Or walk.

 

 

Or jog.

 

 

Get there and throw your arm around Hope.

 

 

Because it's about people we lost.

 

 

And people we still have. Peace.

 

AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run steps off on Sunday, Oct. 19 at Piedmont Park, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

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