AV200 celebrates its ‘vaccine soldiers’ [photos]

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VIEW PHOTOS | AIDS Vaccine 200 Closing Party @ Kai Lin Art

imageOrganizers of AIDS Vaccine 200 continue to show that if you pair your cause with a fun — some riders may even say daunting — event, the donations will come even in a recession.

On Sunday, Action Cycling Atlanta presented checks totaling $198,200 to the three AV200 beneficiaries during a closing party at Kai Lin Art, putting an exclamation point on the May 22-23 event that attracted more than 130 riders. Last year, 85 riders helped raise $175,000 during the AV 200.

image“The support of the AIDS Vaccine 200 bike ride is critical,” Mark Mulligan (middle photo), executive director of the Hope Clinic at the Emory Vaccine Center, said during the event. “Your passion for bike riding and for making a difference kind of come together in a wonderful way and you make a difference for HIV/AIDS. In doing this, you are all vaccine soldiers–ambassadors–and we certainly appreciate it. You get it and it is absolutely critical.”

The Emory Vaccine Center is the chief beneficiary of the AV200 and received $190,000 this year. Also benefiting were Jerusalem House, which received $6,200, and Positive Impact, which received $2,000. Since Action Cycling created the ride in 2003, it has raised about $765,000 for the vaccine center.

imageMulligan also said that the Hope Clinic is seeking volunteers for several ongoing clinical trials

In December, the clinic began enrolling about 120 local men in its portion of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network Lifeforward Study, which is testing a preventative vaccine on 1,350 men in 12 U.S. cities.

If proven, the preventative vaccine could slow the progression of HIV by decreasing the viral load of people already infected. The study will also investigate what impact the vaccine may have on people who become infected during the testing.

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