Activists all over the Northwest paused today to mark World AIDS Day and to recommit themselves to improving the lives of people living with HIV.
About a dozen cyclists stood in a half-circle, feeling the sunshine at North Portland’s Smith and Bybee Lakes.
Organizer David Duncan gathered the group for a moment of silence.
“I just wanted to us all to gather together to remember why we’re doing this ride today….”
The cyclists will travel 32-miles - one for each year since the AIDS pandemic began. Each year, the route grows a little longer.
“Take a minute,” Duncan asked them, “Think about why we’re on this ride, think about people we might have lost.”
Kristin Steele says a lot of people along the way ask why she rides.
“I grew up North of San Francisco and was young in the initial phases. It left a pretty good imprint on me. I ride for everybody who can’t.”
Duncan, owns a jersey that shows he’s HIV-positive.
“One of the best ways to eliminate the stigma is to be out about it and be able to discuss it.”
Other World AIDS Day events included concerts, screenings, and volunteer events.