The state’s top public health official is providing leadership for the annual AIDS Walk RI, happening Sunday, September 13.

 The state’s top public health official is providing leadership for the annual AIDS Walk RI, happening Sunday, September 13.

Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, who was appointed the state's director of public
health earlier this year, will be an honorary chair of the event, which starts and
ends on the Rhode Island State House lawn. Registration begins at noon, with a
speaking program, including Dr. Alexander-Scott, at 12:30. The approximately two
mile route steps off at 1 p.m.  Registration is also available on-line at<>.

"From 2013 to 2014 in Rhode Island, the number of newly identified cases of HIV
increased by nearly 33%. These data send a clear signal that despite the progress we
have made in reducing HIV over the years, there is more work to do," she said. "We
are fortunate in Rhode Island to have great partnerships among state agencies and
community-based organizations like APRI to continue our efforts to educate, test,
and treat for HIV. The data remind us that we cannot become complacent."

Joining Dr. Alexander-Scott as honorary chairs are NBC 10 reporter and anchor Mario
Hilario and Dr. Philip Chan, director of the HIV/STD Prevention Clinic at the Miriam
Hospital Immunology Center.

"We are fortunate to have Dr. Alexander-Scott, Mario Hilario and Dr. Chan helping
lead the way for this year's AIDS Walk," said AIDS Project Rhode Island's Stephen
Hourahan.  He noted that NBC 10 health reporter Barbara Morse-Silva will emcee.

Participants in the walk raise critical funds for public awareness, advocacy,
testing and comprehensive services for people living with HIV/AIDS. "Our goal is to
raise awareness along with raising funds," he said.

AIDS Care Ocean State, a sister AIDS service organization, is teaming up as a full
partner in AIDS Walk RI this year.  "We are pleased to join forces with AIDS Project
Rhode Island to make AIDS Walk RI 2015 one of the best in the event's three-decade
history," said AIDS Care Ocean State executive director Paul Fitzgerald.  He noted
that this year's theme is "Keeping Hope Alive."

Free, fast, anonymous HIV testing will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there
will be a performance from the Providence Gay Men's Chorus, the AIDS Quilt will be
displayed, and there will be free food and activities.

Event sponsors include Cardi's Furniture, CVS Health,  Miriam Hospital/ a Lifespan
Partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, United Healthcare, the City of Providence,
MetLife, McLaughlin & Moran, NBC 10, GoLocalProv,  94 HJY and Coast 93.3 radio,
Latino Public Radio, WBRU, Poder 1110, Latina 100.3, WJFD and WUMD.

More information about AIDS Project Rhode Island, a division of Family Service of
Rhode Island, and AIDS Care Ocean State is available at<> and<>.