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AIDS Walk: Despite Changes Brought On By COVID, The Mission Remains The Same

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - AIDS Walk New York is this Sunday, and even though the walk has changed, the mission hasn't.

"The AIDS epidemic isn't over. New York has made extraordinary progress in reducing the number of new infections. In 2019, there were under 2,000 for the first time in decades, but that's still 2,000 people who are getting infected every year. So there's really an acute need for resources to help those people, and AIDS Walk is the largest fundraiser of the year," said Paul Olsen of GMHC.

In past years, AIDS Walk New York would populate the park with thousands of people. In fact, over its 35 year history, it has raised over $155 million to fight HIV & AIDS, reported CBS2's John Elliott.

"This year, unfortunately, due to COVID and concerns about health and safety, we had to do another virtual event," Olsen said.

Even though it's virtual, there will be some all-star surprises.

"George Takei will be participating in the program, Ann-Margret and Rita Moreno," Olsen said.

"We're really excited this year that Elton John and his husband David Furnish will be participating in our program. We'll be giving them a lifetime achievement award for all their contributions to ending the epidemic worldwide," said Alex Newell. "It gives me all the feels to sing Elton John's work. He's always been influential in my life, so I'm excited that I get to even get a taste of his work."

"The AIDS Walk is truly everyone because we have to come together as a community to truly beat this and do the research and just love on each other," Newell added.

"I think this is for anyone in New York who cares about their neighbors and cares about the health and well being of everyone in the city," Olsen said.

You can watch the big show AIDS Walk: Live From Home this Sunday on CBSN New York at 1 p.m.

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