Thousands walk for AIDS awareness

IUS Horizon

Paticipants begin their walk on the Belvedere during Louisville AIDS Walk.

The 19th  annual Louisville AIDS Walk and Pet Trot occurred on Sept. 25, despite being rerouted due to the Sherman Minton Bridge closing.

Traditionally, the route to the event crossed the Clark Memorial Bridge but was unable to this year because the bridge serves as relief for congestion generated by the Sherman Minton shut down.

The Belvedere was swarming with thousands of registrants.

Walkers checked in for the Pet Trot coinciding with the walk, while children enjoyed playing on an inflatable and face-painting.

Daniel Coe, director of registration for Louisville AIDS Walk, said they had about 5,000 walkers this year.

“[The amount of walkers was] down a little from past walks with the uncertainty of the route, the bridge closing and the threat of rain but a good turnout, all the same,” Coe said.

In addition to the alternate route for the walk, the 5K run that usually accompanies the walk was postponed until spring.

This year’s walk overcame the route change.

The walk was led by a drum troop and the Bellermine University Knights basketball team with their coach, Scotty Davenport, followed by thousands of walkers, children and dogs.

Michael York, director of Louisville AIDS Walk, said more than half of the cases of AIDS diagnosed in Kentucky are in Louisville, which is why this walk was important to local residents.

“We bring in some funds, and people have a good time,” York said.

The Louisville AIDS Walk has been raising funds since 1993.

Donations help fund transportation to medical appointments, food, housing and medicine.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control, more than 56,000 people are infected every year in the United States.