September 8-9, 2018
CYCLING FOR A CAUSE
The Ride for AIDS Chicago is the signature fundraising event of Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), Chicago’s oldest peer-led 501(c)3 AIDS Service Organization (EIN: 36-3591116). The Ride brings together cyclists, those living with HIV and related illnesses, health-advocates, and their supporters to raise vital funds and demonstrate the strengths and resilience of an often-overlooked community. Since its inception, the Ride has raised over $4.5 million and continues to serve TPAN’s mission: saving lives and empowering those affected by HIV/AIDS and related illnesses. 2018 introduces a new route for event participants. After 15 years the core of the Ride remains the same. Ride for AIDS Chicago is the 200 or 100-mile cycling event and TPAN is very proud of that. However, for this year only, those who feel up to the challenge will have the option of registering to complete the Anniversary Distance, which adds an additional 15 miles in each direction! Participants may choose from 100, 200, or 230 mile distances for the 2018 Ride. The Ride for AIDS Chicago will trade the former west route into Wisconsin for an entirely new experience through three different states to end in Michigan. With a new route, new camp, and new event date, the 15th Anniversary of the Ride for AIDS Chicago, promises to bigger, better, and more exciting than ever!
FIGHTING SHAME AND STIGMA
Besides raising money, the Ride for AIDS Chicago helps to decrease HIV stigma by highlighting and humanizing those who are living with HIV and related illnesses. Ride participants, many of whom are HIV positive or directly affected, are empowered by the challenge of riding over 200 miles. Stigma-stemming from shame, fear of discrimination, or a basic lack of understanding about the disease-all too often prevents individuals from getting tested, or beginning life-saving medical care and treatment. As people personally impacted by HIV share their stories of hope and fortitude, shame over HIV/AIDS is reduced, and more people are encouraged to get tested, engage in the appropriate medical care, and lead strong empowered lives.
PARTNERING WITH OTHER COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
In 2009 TPAN launched the Community Partner Program to broaden the Ride’s impact. Local AIDS Service Organizations, LGBT organizations, and health allies participate in the Ride to raise money for their own organizations. As a result of this popular program, dozens of efforts throughout Chicago have been sustained. Since 2016, the Ride has partnered with: About Face Theatre, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Center on Halsted, Chicago House Social Service Agency, Fred Says, Howard Brown Health Center, and new for 2018, The OUT Foundation and Alexian Brothers Housing & Alliance.