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From 1st September 2012 CyclHope will be cycling from London to Rome, 1,700 km, aiming to do so within 20 days, crossing 5 countries and raising funds to help fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
CyclHope is a group founded by Andrea Diotallevi and Stefano Terranova, London based non-professional cyclists, who aim to raise funds for charities through long-distance cycling events.
CyclHope's latest project is focusing on raising awareness about HIV and raising funds forBody & Soul, which is a charity organization focusing on the wellbeing of children, young people and families living with and affected by HIV.
Contrary to what many people think, AIDS is still a major problem in Europe. According to UNAIDS estimates, around 2.3 million people were living with HIV in the European region at the end of 2010 and the number is growing year by year. The number of people infected in the UK has grown dramatically since the 1990s. The Health Protection Agency estimated that in 2010, 91,500 people were living with the virus, over a quarter of whom were unaware of their infection. Despite significant developments in the medical understanding of HIV and the introduction of life-prolonging treatments, public understanding of the disease if often poor and stigma remains a huge challenge. In the UK an HIV positive diagnosis often has devastating impacts on individuals and families and fear of stigma is a major barrier to the uptake of testing.
These figures hardly make the news and therefore we deem important to raise awareness on this subject.
"We believe everyone has the right to live happily and healthily. We aim to counteract the devastation of an HIV+ diagnosis with strategies to reduce isolation and stress; improve health and well being; promote active lives and create a voice for human rights."
[Body & Soul]
The idea behind the London to Rome is to remind people, throughout towns and villages on route, that HIV is still with us, and must not be forgotten.
Just because HIV is not front page news, it doesn't mean it has disappeared.
If you would like to get involved, cycle with us, donate funds or sponsor us, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on AIDS and HIV you can visit:
the CyclHope team
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