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As most of you already know, Taunya Gates does a tremendous amount of volunteer work with Aids Outreach Center here in Tarrant County. Not only does she serve on the Hope Walk Committee, she also proudly serves as a member of the  Development Committee team as well.

The people she works with in this organization are dedicated, and work tirelessly to serve people within the Tarrant County and seven surrounding counties, living with HIV. What we have seen in the last few years is an alarming trend of the HIV rate on the rise. The CDC estimates that more than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and approximately 1 in 8 of them are unaware of their positive status. Here are some other facts:

-59% of new infections are in people younger than 35 years of age

-Women count for 19% of the estimated HIV diagnosis (87% of those are attributed to heterosexual contact)

African Americans. Latinos. Also, disproportionately affected by HIV. But instead of us feeding you statistics, do us a favor, and Google “HIV epidemic on the rise” and read the articles yourself. Chicago. Indiana. San Antonio. Austin. DFW. These are more than likely your coworkers, neighbors and friends.

The goal of AOC is essentially to get people tested, diagnosed, and into a treatment plan as quickly as possible, in order to reduce the virus load. Once the program is utilized, AOC has a 92% viral suppression rate of those they serve. What that means is that AOC not only creates healthier clients, but creates a healthier community for everyone.

With that said, we still need your help. AOC was created during the AIDS epidemic of the Eighties. This year marks their 30 year anniversary. And while most of the people that work there will tell you that they would have preferred that their jobs were obsolete by now - because a cure was ultimately found, or that there were zero new infections or deaths - they are still getting up every morning and fighting the good fight.

This is where you come in.

On Sunday October 23rd, we are holding our 25th Hope Walk at Trinity Park Pavilion. Come join our Team, the "Gates Goal-diggers" and help us continue this fight. Also joining us for an afternoon of food, fun and music - will be DJ David Moore of MooreSound, 106.1 KISSFM, In-N-Out Burger with FREE burgers, and Ben E. Keith providing FREE beer to all registered walkers.

If you can’t walk with us, please consider making a tax-free donation. Thank you for helping us build a stronger, healthier community!

Tell your story here! Your supporters will want to know about you and why you’re fundraising for this cause.

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