The annual AIDS Walk Houston raises money for the fight against the epidemic.
By Kelly McCann
Extrapolated from statistics found on the City of Houston website (www.houstontx.gov), there are an estimated 21,209 persons in our city living with HIV/AIDS. That’s about one in every 100 people. Another of our citizens becomes infected with HIV every nine hours.
Those numbers are disturbingly high, and they clearly indicate the need for prevention and care services in Houston. Luckily, Houstonians can find some comfort in the fact that there are many organizations in our city providing assistance to thousands of people living with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS.
As one of those providers, I can tell you we all face the constant challenge of acquiring sufficient monies to provide prevention education to our community while meeting the needs of our clients. Sure, we all write grants and secure government funding, but those sources are not keeping pace with the increasing numbers of HIV-infected persons requiring services. That’s why special fundraising events are crucial. That’s why AIDS service organizations need the support of the community. That’s why we hope you will take a step with us on Sunday, March 11, in Sam Houston Park.
AIDS Walk Houston 2007, presented by Chevron , is a community-wide event that attracts thousands of Houstonians each year. The walk provides all of us with opportunities to increase awareness of HIV and available services, remember those who have been lost to the illness, and show support of those living with the disease. It is also a chance to assist providers by raising much-needed dollars. We at AIDS Foundation Houston produce the walk, but the event also benefits a number of local AIDS service organizations that are making an impact in lives of people infected with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS.
These are AIDS Walk Houston Partner Agencies for 2007:
AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. strives to create a positive social impact through the innovative management of HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases by providing a full array of HIV-prevention programs as well as support services to men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. Information: 713/623-6796 , www.aidshelp.org.
Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative improves the health and lives of HIV-infected children and families globally through high-quality, high-impact, highly ethical, state-of-the-art comprehensive care and treatment, health-professional training, and multi-center clinical research. Information: 832/825-1038, www.bayloraids.org.
Bering Omega Community Services provides compassionate care to low-income and disenfranchised individuals living with HIV/AIDS through its Oral Health Care program, Adult Day Care Center, Housing Assistance program, and Omega House residential hospice. Information: 713/529-6071, www.beringomega.org.
Bread of Life, Inc. empowers the less fortunate through compassion by providing a continuum of care through a holistic approach to healing. Goals are to promote self-determination, self-empowerment, and ultimately self-sufficiency by using a community network approach. Information: 713/650-0595, www.breadoflifeinc.org.
Brentwood Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to providing education and supportive services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Information: 713/852-2550, www.brentwoodfoundation.org.
Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. provides an array of services to a diverse population challenged by barriers such as older age, illiteracy, disabilities, homelessness, lack of skills, substance abuse, and at-risk behavior. Information: 713/754-7000, www.careerandrecovery.org.
The Center for AIDS Information and Advocacy empowers people living with HIV to make informed decisions about their healthcare by providing the latest research and treatment information and by advocating for accessible, affordable, and effective treatment options. Information: 713/527-8219, www.centerforaids.org.
Crisis Intervention of Houston, Inc. is committed to serving people in crisis, by helping individuals overcome the barriers to assistance due to fear, isolation, abuse, physical disability, health, language, age, income, location, problem type, or timing of the crisis. Information: 713/527-9864, www.crisishotline.org.
Families Under Urban and Social Attack, Inc. addresses societal problems that affect families by empowering the community through education, prevention, research, advocacy, intervention, and collaboration. Information: 713/651-1470, www.fuusa.org.
Houston Buyers Club improves the quality of life for people with health-related conditions through nutritional education and affordable nutritional supplements. Information: 713/520-5288, www.houstonbuyersclub.com.
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Inc. provides legal services to persons living with HIV/AIDS in a competent and compassionate manner. Information: 713/228-0735, www.ehvlp.org.
The Lazarus House provides a low-cost program of wellness in a comfortable environment for clients suffering from muscle loss due to chronic illness or cachexia. Information: 713/526-5071, www.thelazarushouse.org.
New Hope Counseling Center, Inc. is a pr ivate nonprofit community-based agency that provides abstinence education and rental, mortgage, and utility assistance to HIV/AIDS clients and their families. Information: 713/776-8006.
Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, Inc. provides healthcare, testing, information, and education so that people can make informed decisions to live and love the way that is best for them. Information: 713/522-6363, www.pphouston.org.
Rapha House Outreach Center, Inc. seeks to provide HIV/AIDS services in Northwest Houston that will prevent health disparities and give hope to communities of color by offering structured self-help groups and linkages to other appropriate community resources. Information: 713/683-6868.
Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church maintains an HIV Benevolence Fund that assists those with HIV/AIDS with food, utility assistance, rental assistance, gas cards, and other resources. Information: 713/861-9149, www.resurrectionmcc.org.
Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, Inc. has a mission to stop the destruction of healthy dogs and cats by increasing the availability and use of animal sterilization services. Information: 713/862-3863, www.snapus.org.
St. Hope Foundation, Inc. is a multi-cultural organization that provides medical care and social services to persons living with HIV/AIDS in three different locations–Houston-Bellaire, Conroe, and Stafford. Information: 713/778-1300, www.offeringhope.org.
Texas Children’s Hospital Department of Allergy & Immunology provides testing, treatment, clinical trials, and social services for children, adolescents, and pregnant women. Information: 832/824-1319, www.texaschildrenshospital.org.
The Warren Corporation is an HIV/AIDS service organization that provides education, testing, and supportive housing. Information: 713/541-9777, www.hivprevent.com.
For more information about AIDS Walk Houston and to register, call 713/403-WALK (9255) or visit www.AIDSWalkHouston.org.
Kelly McCann is the chief executive officer of AIDS Foundation Houston, which recently marked its 25th year of service (“A Caring Milestone,” February 2007). Read a profile of McCann (“Still in the Fight”) in our March 2006 issue.