WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (CNS) -- The 38th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles returned to the streets of West Hollywood Sunday with the theme "Be All Over It."
The walk was conducted on a virtual basis the previous two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We're over talking. We're over people living with HIV not in care. We're over the assault on our rights happening across the nation," said Craig E. Thompson, the CEO of APLA Health. "We're calling on individuals and organizations who have had enough to make a plan to 'Be All Over It' with us and show the world that you'll no longer stay silent on the issues you feel passionate about."
The walk supports APLA Health and other HIV/AIDS service organizations in Los Angeles County. APLA Health is a multi-site operation, which includes eight federally qualified health center locations, serving more than 18,000 people in Los Angeles County annually, according to Craig Bowers, APLA Health's chief marketing and external affairs officer.
The approximately 2-mile walk began at 9 a.m. at West Hollywood Park, heading north to Santa Monica Boulevard, east to La Cienega Boulevard, then reversing direction and heading west to Doheny Drive, east to San Vicente Boulevard and south to West Hollywood Park.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles was the world's first fundraising walk to benefit organizations dealing with AIDS. It was first held in 1985, beginning at the Paramount Pictures lot and continuing through the streets of Hollywood.
The walk moved to West Hollywood because of security concerns following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was held in downtown Los Angeles from 2016-19.
Since its inception, the walk has raised more than $92 million, Bowers said.
APLA Health provides 20 different services including medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and screening and treatment for diseases spread through sex.
PrEP stands for preexposure prophylaxis, the administration of antiviral drugs intended to prevent HIV/AIDS.
APLA Health also provides housing support, food, benefits counseling, home health care and other services for people living with and affected by AIDS and HIV.
APLA Health also advocates for policy and legislation positively impacting the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and conducts community-based research on issues affecting the communities it serves.