Local charity raises awareness with AIDS run/walk - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Local charity raises awareness with AIDS run/walk

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

AIDS is a disease that affects 42 million people worldwide, including about 1700 in our community.  On Saturday, a race was held at Rotary Park in Columbus to help those people.

Runners and walkers of all ages participated in that race and they were taken on a course through a scenic river walk.  The event is organized by the Better Way Foundation of Chattahoochee Valley and WTVM is one of the sponsors.  The first place winner received prizes worth over $500. 

"I'm living with HIV and AIDS, and one of the things I set out to do when I created this organization in '07 was to give people a better way of life and that's exactly what we're doing," said Jeremy Hobbs.

While there's no cure for AIDS, medical science has improved greatly since its discovery and it's now possible for affected people to live longer and lead a normal life.  The people who are close to the matter have advice for anyone who may be struggling with their situation.

"They're going through fear because they think they're going to die early.  I have talked to a personal friend fo mine who's going through the problem and he said the other day, he gives up on life.  I don't want anyone to give up because there's cures out there, so just wait. Please wait," said Cheryl Williams.

"Never give up hope.  Always get out of the bed every day and put one foot forward," added Hobbs.

The Better Way Foundation offers free testing for HIV and they encourage anyone who wonders whether they have it to take advantage of their service.  Even if you don't think you have it, Hobbs says people should get tested anyway because the vast majority of new infections are caused by people who are unaware they are spreading it.

"You get your results back in 15 minutes.  That's unheard of, and that's how far we've come along," said Simone Savoie.

 

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