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Strong support for AIDS Community Resources

The 17th Annual AIDS Walk/Run, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union at Beaver Lake Nature Center, set a "day of" fundraising record of $187,353.

Last year the AIDS Walk/Run raised $183,000 on the day of the event, but the total grew to more that $200,000 as late donations came in.

"If this year is like the past, we will see more money come in over the next few weeks," said AIDS Community Resources' Executive Director, Michael Crinnin. "What impressed me most about today, though, were the 1,100 people who came out to support us. That's the key to stopping this disease. Getting the message out to everybody about staying safe from AIDS."

All of the money raised at the AIDS Walk/Run stays in Central New York for emergency client services and for ACR's extensive youth HIV prevention programs. "Prevention is more important than ever," said ACR Development Director Wil Murtaugh. "The federal government spends $12 billion dollars on AIDS, but only 4 percent goes to prevention. We raise the money ourselves to get an important job done."

The latest HIV infection statistics are sobering. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there are 56,300 new HIV infections each year -- up 40 percent from 2008; and that as many as 280,000 people nationwide have HIV and don't know it. Perhaps the most chilling new numbers from CDC pertain to African American teens.

Though they make up only 17 percent of the population African-American youth (aged 13-19) account for 72 percent of all HIV infections in American teenagers.

The majority of infections among young males were through male-to-male sexual contact; among young females the cause is high-risk heterosexual contact (not using a condom).

AIDS Community Resources works with African American young people in a number of prevention programs that reduce HIV infections.

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