Chief Marketing and External Affairs Officer
All-Digital AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2021 Continues to Fight the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Los Angeles County
“The Walk Show” Online Fundraising Campaign Hosted by Ongina of Rupaul’s Drag Race Raised $1,272,349—Vital Funds That Will Support the Work of APLA Health as Well as Other HIV/AIDS Service Organizations.
APLA Health partnered with Ongina to host a weekly online video talk show, The Walk Show. In each episode, Ongina “walked” participants through weekly challenges featuring firsthand accounts of how AIDS Walk fundraising efforts support the vital work of APLA Health. An extended length episode of The Walk Show was broadcast on ABC7 on September 19th. All episodes of The Walk Show can be found here: https://aidswalkla.org/the-walk-show/
Ongina, contestant on the inaugural season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, emotionally disclosed her HIV-positive status after winning a challenge on the show. Her subsequent work as a vocal HIV activist made her the perfect choice to host The Walk Show. “It was an amazing experience hosting The Walk Show for this year’s AIDS Walk Los Angeles,” said Ongina. “The patient and client stories featured in each episode really shines a light on all of the work that APLA Health is doing to help end the HIV epidemic in Los Angeles County.”
With the suspension of large-scale public events due to COVID-19, our walkers’ exceptional efforts in raising such a significant amount money online is a testament to their enduring passion and commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our lifetime.
“While COVID-19 continues to prevent AIDS Walk Los Angeles from being an in-person community gathering for the second year in a row, the purpose of the event remains unchanged,” said Craig E. Thompson, CEO of APLA Health. “In this moment of pandemic fatigue, we must remain committed in our efforts to end the HIV epidemic as well. AIDS Walk Los Angeles is our opportunity to let everyone know that HIV and AIDS are still prevalent and that people living with HIV or at risk of HIV need our help. We still need events like AIDS Walk to rally our community, let people mourn and remember, and to help end the barriers and inequities that still exist for far too many people in Los Angeles County.”
Since 1985, hundreds of thousands of walkers and supporters have raised over 92 million dollars for their fellow Angelenos in the fight against HIV/AIDS. These funds remain a vital lifeline to sustain APLA Health as well as other HIV/AIDS health and support organization beneficiaries.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2021 was supported by thirty-seven generous sponsors. Premier Sponsors include Gilead Sciences, Inc., Starbucks Pride Network & Paul Hastings. Grand Sponsors include ABC7, Paramount Pictures, Walgreens, Playboy Enterprises & ViiV Healthcare. Principal Sponsors include Latham & Watkins & Quest Diagnostics. Major Sponsors include Capital Group, Albertsons, Premier Pharmacy Services, The Hallmark Channel, Microsoft, Room & Board & Mattel. Supporting Sponsors include Oaktree Capital Management, Royal Bank of Canada, Northrop Grumman, Janssen, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, LADWP, AT&T, Discount Medical Pharmacy, Grindr & GoodRx. Event Sponsors include KPMG, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Amgen, City National Bank, Genoa Healthcare, Klawiter and Associates, The Dietz Agency, Parker Brown, Bank of America, Olympia Plaza Pharmacy & Keck Medicine of USC.
ABOUT APLA HEALTH: APLA Health’s mission is to achieve healthcare equity and promote well-being for the LGBTQ+ and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We remain committed to ending the AIDS epidemic in our lifetime. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 18,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services at 16 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, behavioral health and HIV specialty care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home healthcare; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBTQ+ and HIV communities and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. Its signature fundraising event, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, has drawn hundreds of thousands of supporters to walk, and millions more to donate, raising more than $92 million to combat HIV and AIDS since 1985. For more information on APLA Health visit https://aplahealth.org.