AV200 cycling event returns to help find AIDS vaccine

It’s time to ride again as AIDS Vaccine 200 (AV200) returns this weekend, and they need help to achieve this year’s goal. The annual 200-mile cycling event is in its 13th year of riding and raising funds to increase awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS vaccine research, and organizers say they are about $60,000 away from their $250,000 goal.

Action Cycling Atlanta (ACA), who produces AV200, have raised more than $2 million through the event over the years, which has benefited Emory Vaccine Center, Jerusalem House, AID Atlanta and Positive Impact.

Organizers say they currently have 119 cyclists registered for the ride, with many newcomers among the group.

ACA board president Leon Morales. (Photo by Clay Walker)
ACA board president Leon Morales. (Photo by Clay Walker)

This will be the sixth ride for Leon Morales, president of ACA’s board of directors, who stresses the importance of such events.

“Many people have a perception that the Emory Vaccine Center has all the money it needs, but that is a myth,” he says. “It is those unencumbered funds that help the Emory Vaccine Center try new research.”

The fundraising is also used to create internships for four AV200 Fellows annually, who Morales calls “the next generation of science for the EVC.”

ACA has made some tweaks to the event over the years to accommodate riders, including moving the destination from Athens to Camp Rock Eagle in the Oconee National Forest in 2007.

They’ve also added new events like the Patron Event for those that want to support the ride but aren’t interested in cycling it, as well as two One Day Ride Events to bring in more beginner cyclists.

“We believe that anyone that wants to ride with us can ride in one of our Ride Events,” Morales says.

AIDS Vaccine 200

Registration and Dinner Party
Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m.
Emory School of Medicine

Saturday, May 16 to Sunday, May 17
Breakfast on May 16 at 6 a.m.
Ride Kickoff on May 16 at 7:30 a.m.
Emory School of Medicine

Sunday Celebration
Sunday, May 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Emory School of Medicine