Local News

AIDS Ride Raising Money for Research

Posted June 19, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Every hour, at least two young Americans are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Since 1985, 300,000 people have died from the disease. Those staggering statistics are incentive for participants in the AIDS Ride.

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

If you were traveling anywhere near the state fairgrounds Thursday morning, you were probably bombarded with bicyclists. Almost 1,500 bicyclists hit the road to Washington DC.

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

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

The ride is expected to raise 4 million dollars, but here have been some questions about where the money really goes.Two of last years AIDS Rides 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 money they need. He says the cost of raising the money cannot dissuade him from the need to raise it.

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

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

Photographer:Gil Hollingsworth