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Even with breakthrough medications and a lot more education available for those diagnosed with the HIV virus, it is still a scary and medically challenging condition which continues to disproportionately impact the gay and minority communities. If you want to make a difference and help those living with HIV, The Festival for Life 5K Walk & Run – AIDS Walk Colorado, put on by the Colorado Health Network, offers a way to get involved and make a difference.

Every year, people are invited to either walk or run together to raise awareness and money for the cause. There is no pressure to do more than walk, so participants of all ages and levels of physical fitness can join in, but running enthusiasts are welcome to challenge themselves and make it a race. The run is followed by a refreshing festival to honor and celebrate those who live daily with AIDS or HIV, or those who have died.

“Our focus this year at the Festival is health and wellness,” explained Darrell Vigil, CEO of Colorado Health Network. “The Festival for Life 5K Walk and Run – AIDS Walk Colorado is the oldest one-day HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness event in the Rocky Mountain Region.”

The event raises funds each year to benefit Colorado Health Network along with the following organizations: Boulder County AIDS Project, Children’s Hospital – Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP), Del Norte’s Chesney-Kleinjohn Apartments, Denver Health & Denver Public Health, HIV Care Link, PFLAG Denver, Telluride AIDS Benefit, The Empowerment Program: Women’s AIDS Project, Treatment Educat10n Network, CU Anschutz Medical Campus Addition Research & Treatment Services (ARTS), and Clinica Tepeyac.

The 31st Annual Festival for Life 5K Walk & Run will take place on August 18 in Cheesman Park in Denver. Following their participation in the course, walkers and runners will be able to enjoy the Celebration for Life Festival, which will feature vendors selling food and drink, entertainment, a beer garden, a volleyball tournament, and a chance to view panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The Festival for Life 5K Walk & Run is a time for the community to set aside differences and come together for a cause. Whether you choose to run and stay all day for the events, or just walk in solidarity for a while with those who want to make an impact, your participation matters. Register early and make sure to carve out a little time from your busy schedule to participate in this important event. You can register online at coloradoaidswalk.org.