The AIDS Lifecycle is a fundraiser for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. School board member Dot Theodore and science teacher Sylvia Perri both plan to participate in this lengthy bike ride to raise money for the organizations. The bike ride starts on May 31 and lasts seven days and 545 miles, beginning in San Francisco and ending in Los Angeles.
Bikers do not need to have an HIV infection or know someone who does in order to participate. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise money for the two organizations because they help fund events and services like those in Alameda and Oakland. Everyone in California is impacted by the organizations, not just San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Both Perri and Theodore believe that it is important to spread awareness about and support those with HIV and AIDS. Since they both bike regularly, they chose to participate in this fundraiser.
“It is important to me that we make it clear that we end the stigma to this disease and to help all the people affected by it,” commented Perri. “It is combined with an activity that I do anyway, so I might as well make it more useful.”
“It’s a social justice and health equity issue for me. These two organizations reach many marginalized people who probably wouldn’t seek care for their HIV infection or HIV prevention,” Theodore added.
Perri and Theodore also want students and others to understand what HIV and AIDS actually is.
“There’s also a misconception that there is a cure for HIV, but there’s not. It’s still something you can acquire and pass onto other people, ” said Theodore. “But there’s great treatments so you can live a relatively normal life with HIV or AIDS.”
“It [HIV and AIDS] is like any other sexually transmitted infection. It’s something that can affect anybody,” Perri added.
Bikers must be at least 18 years or have an adult with them. Every participant must also commit to raise at least $3,000 for the organizations, but most commit to raise even more. Participants begin fundraising and soliciting donations early to reach their goal. Theodore and Perri started planning their fundraisers in July of 2019 to reach their goals of $5,000 each.
One thing that Theodore enjoys about the bike ride is the “love bubble” that is formed through this biking fundraiser.
“You make friends training, fundraising, and sharing advice,” Theodore explained. “When you spend many hours doing something hard, you make a connection.”
Perri and Theodore recommend to start fundraising, riding, and training early for those that would like to participate in the ride, so you don’t stress out and panic.
“Enjoy the ride while you’re actually on it,” Theodore said.
“Be safe while biking on the road,” reminded Perri.If you would like to help Theodore and Perri reach their fundraising goals, please go to these links: http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/SilviaPerri and http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/BikeMomDot.