Saturday, October 26, 2013

AIDSWalk 2013 in Washington DC held in cool dry weather this morning

I had my own misadventures this morning, almost losing  a camera and a smartphone at different times, but all is well now, as I did make the entire AIDS Walk Washington 2013 this year, all three miles, which run from Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave. down below Federal Center, where the commuter trains from Virginia are visible, and back.

We passed a demonstration against NSA Surveillance along the way.  I did see some unusual groups, such as one which sponsors volunteer service trips to Kenya.  That would sound risky now, and Uganda is next door.  (Last night, I went to a performance and Q-A of “God Loves Uganda”;  see the movies blog.)
A lot of walkers wore hats or jerseys for the Nationals, Redskins or Capitals, but I didn’t see any organized teams from professional sports franchises.

The weather was sunny and dry, and warmed up quickly from visible frost early this morning, to about 50 degrees during the march.  There were still plenty of shorts, and there was a “run” northbound on Pennsylvania Ave.  A year ago, during the same event, we were bracing for Hurriacne Sandy, and two years ago we had driving rain.
The event seems smaller than it did twenty years ago, when it was five miles and had more volunteers with signs like “Obey Me”. 

During the mid 1980’s I did volunteer as a “buddy” (or a “baby buddy”) with the Oak Lawn Counseling Center in Dallas, where I lived then.  In the 1990s, after I had returned to DC, I found the Whitman Walker Clinic a bit more bureaucratic. I also volunteered then with Food and Friends. The needs had changed considerably. They mostly centered on economically underprivileged communities.  By the late 1990’s it was common to hear that treatment with protease inhibitors was effective and had fewer side effects than previously.  You don’t hear HIV feared or talked about in the “white” gay may community like “you” once did, but CDC says that cases in younger men are returning. 

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