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AIDS Ride Raising Money for Research

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RALEIGH — Every hour, at least two young Americans areinfected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Since 1985, 300,000 peoplehave died from the disease. Those staggering statistics are incentive forparticipants in the AIDS Ride.

The fund-raiser is a bike ride from Raleigh to Washington, DC for thepurpose of raising money for AIDS research.

If you were traveling anywhere near the state fairgroundsThursday morning, you were probably bombarded with bicyclists. Almost1,500 bicyclists hit the road to Washington DC.

This is one of five AIDS rides taking place this summer designed toraise money for two Aids service agencies in the nation's captol.

Liliana Penaranda lost her brother to AIDS last year. She says the rideis not much to give if it will help save others.

The ride is expected to raise 4 million dollars, but here have beensome questions about where the money really goes.Two of last years AIDSRides used more than 80 percent of the money raised for expenses.That meant only 20 percent actually got to the AIDS charities.

But one AIDS agency director says this is the only way to get the moneythey need. He says the cost of raising the money cannot dissuade him fromthe need to raise it.

Most riders say its really not about the money, anyway. They say it'sabout showing support for friends and family who have died or are dyingfrom AIDS.

In April, the Pennsylvania Attorney General fined the AIDS Rideorganizers $130,000 for"misleading donors". Organizers say those problemshave been worked out and that $10,000 from this ride will stay to helpAIDS agencies here in Raleigh.

Photographer:GilHollingsworth

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