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2023 AIDS Walk Arizona Festival & 5K nets more than $250K for Aunt Rita’s Foundation

2023 AIDS Walk helps fuel dozens helping those with HIV and AIDS in Arizona
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

More than a thousand people took part in the 2023 AIDS Walk Arizona Festival & 5K on March 25 at Tempe Beach Park, raising a record amount of money for Aunt Rita’s Foundation in the process.

The foundation raised more than $250,000, the most in the 15 years it has held the event. This year’s theme was ‘Brand New Day,’ to remind of how far HIV understanding has come. All proceeds are disbursed to partner agencies to cover the costs of programs and services supported by Aunt Rita’s, according to a press release.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation is marking its 35th anniversary as the Connector of the HIV Community. An organization that was born to cover friends’ rent, medical bills, and eventually funeral costs, has humbly – over the years – provided millions of dollars to programs working to end HIV in Arizona. Last year alone, Aunt Rita’s funded over $474,000 toward the extinction of HIV/AIDS, the release states.

AIDS Walk Arizona is the largest gathering in Arizona to advance the cause of HIV & AIDS funding and awareness. The event elevates awareness and raises funds through an educational and fun community-wide event. It is the flagship event of the central Arizona HIV/AIDS community, catalyzing awareness, education and support.

The 2023 AIDS Walk Arizona Festival & 5K featured both the run and walk, entertainment, booths for partner agencies and sponsors, food trucks, activities and much more.

“This is a tremendous result for us, and we are so thankful for the support from our sponsors and those who ran and walked at the event,” said Daniel Sciortino, board chair of Aunt Rita’s Foundation, in a prepared statement. “This is a record amount of money raised for us and it will help us continue to work with our partner organizations to move the needle in helping those with HIV and AIDS.”

2023 AIDS Walk helps fuel dozens helping those with HIV and AIDS in Arizona

The 2023 AIDS Walk Arizona was co-chaired by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, prominent Valley civic leader Nicole Stanton and Krtistopher Inez Onyx, nationwide entertainer and director of development for Phoenix Pride.

Aunt Rita’s has provided millions of dollars in grant funding in support of critical HIV prevention and treatment programs throughout Arizona. Aunt Rita’s distributes free 15-minute Home HIV oral swap test kits through, where free vouchers for confidential in-person clinical testing at Safeway/Albertsons and Sonora Quest locations statewide for all STIs. Aunt Rita’s Foundation also works with the Arizona Department of Health Services to connect individuals of any status to knowledgeable providers covering the entire state through HIVAZ.ORG.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation was a founding member with the Phoenix Fast Track Cities initiative and plays a vital role in advocating at the Arizona legislature and state government to establish laws, regulations and policies that further their efforts to educate, prevent HIV, and treat HIV.

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