Action Cycling Atlanta (ACA) is hosting the 17th annual AIDS Vaccine 200 (AV200), a 2-day, 200-mile bike race to raise money for HIV/AIDS research and treatment, on May 18 and 19.
Cyclists will bike 200 miles through the Georgia countryside, starting and ending at Emory University’s School of Medicine in Eatonton (100 Woodruff Circle). Each individual rider and relay team must raise at least $500 to participate in the two-day charity race; although some riders raise upwards of $15,000.
100 percent of proceeds raised by riders and volunteers will go towards HIV/AIDS vaccine research at the Emory Vaccine Center – whose scientists have contributed to the development of HIV/AIDS drugs that more than 94 percent of patients in the U.S. take – as well as other AIDS service organizations in Atlanta. Since launching AV200 in 2003, ACA has raised more than $2.8 million.
“Each year this ride becomes more impactful as the issue of HIV/AIDS continues to spread throughout the communities of Atlanta and the Southeast but are no longer at the forefront of the public’s mind,” Jonathan Karron, the President of ACA, said in a statement. “We are so incredibly grateful for all of our volunteers and riders for allowing us to work towards a world where HIV/AIDS doesn’t exist. By using friendship, respect, and sportsmanship, our city forms a special comradery to accomplish our goals in spreading awareness and raising funds and inspiring others to do the same.”
The weekend kicks off on Friday (May 17) with a welcome dinner for riders and crew at Emory University School of Medicine. Afterwards, the ride starts at 8:00 am on Saturday. Riders will spend the night at Rock Eagle’s 4-H camp and 110-acre lake and then finish the ride around 4:00 pm on Sunday.
“[This ride] is important because HIV/AIDS is in danger of becoming a bit of a ‘forgotten disease’ when the rates of new infections, especially in Georgia, are very high still,” said dedicated AV200 rider Rita Wuebbler, “not to mention the devastation caused in other parts of the world, especially in certain parts of Africa.”
To learn more about the event, volunteer, or participate as a rider, you can visit ActionCyclingAtl.org/aids-vaccine-200. The deadline to register for AV200 is 6:00 pm on Friday.