Woman logs thousands of miles on bicycle to keep friends’ memories alive
MADISON, Wis. — I remember when I first heard about HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s.
It was mysterious, stigmatizing and scary. A lot of people have died as a result. Decades of research has helped somewhat, but there’s still no cure. Here are some statistics from the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin:
700,000 people have died from AIDS in the USA
Globally, 32 million people have died from AIDS
37.9 million people currently live with HIV/AIDS
In 2018 alone, 770,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide
There are 1.2 million people living with HIV in United States. Roughly 20% of them do not know they carry the virus.
So you’re probably wondering, “Where’s the GOOD in all of this?” Well, it’s not just researchers who are working on finding a cure. It’s people you know – your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends, who are also doing SOMETHING to help in this fight. One of those people is Kristin Mathews. The Madison east sider has lost too many friends to this disease and has helped fund research and programs that benefit those fighting for their lives.
Mathews considers herself a “casual bicyclist,” but over the last two decades, she’s logged at least 7,100 miles pedaling her bike in honor of her friends who died and those who live with HIV and AIDS. She helped start the AIDS Ride in Madison. How much money has she raised? She’ll tell you, “Not enough because AIDS is still here.”
Watch this special “Do Something Good” story to learn more about how you too can be a “do gooder” just like Mathews.
Also, see below how AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) patients compare against other HIV clinics in the country. ARCW is home to ARCW Medical Center, Wisconsin’s largest and fastest-growing HIV health care system.
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