New Jersey AIDS Walk Chooses Newark as Newest AIDS Walk Site

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey ranks fifth in the nation for new HIV infection cases with 37% of those cases in Essex County. North Jersey Community Research Initiative to be Newark beneficiary and host organization for New Jersey AIDS Walk 2012.

Montclair, NJ, March 14, 2012 --( North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) announced today that it is the Newark, NJ host and beneficiary of the New Jersey AIDS Walk 2012. On Sunday, May 6, 2012, for the first time in its history, NJCRI will welcome HIV/AIDS advocates, community based organizations, supporters, and those currently living with HIV/AIDS from across the region for a 5K walk in historic Branch Brook Park.

The New Jersey AIDS Walk is a 501 (c) 3 collaborative of seven New Jersey cities that are home to leading HIV/AIDS service organizations. These cities unite to produce state-wide awareness and fundraising walks. Sponsored statewide by Walgreens, walks in all seven cities are open to all and registration is free. Walks will take place in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Morristown, New Brunswick, Newark, Pennsauken, and Ridgewood. A unified step-off in all cities will be at 1p.m.

“For over 25 years we’ve provided free and confidential medical services, counseling and testing, outreach, gay and lesbian youth support, and a host of other services to those in greater Newark and Essex County who are living with HIV/AIDS or who are deemed high risk for contracting the virus,” explained Brian McGovern, Executive Director of NJCRI. “The New Jersey AIDS Walk helps us spread the message that AIDS is still infecting and affecting thousands of people in our area.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DOH), 37% of all HIV/AIDS cases in New Jersey are in Essex County, with the majority of those cases in the city of Newark. Each year NJCRI, one of the state’s largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS organizations, provides over $3.6 million in free services to more than 7,500 of these people. Although HIV/AIDS is now seen as a chronic illness, the pressure for organizations in New Jersey to continue aggressively fighting the epidemic through education, treatment, and prevention is as evident as it ever was.

“Although we’ve made great strides in the treatment of HIV/AIDS particularly with the advent of protease inhibitors, there are still major consequences to HIV/AIDS infection,” explained Bob Baxter, Director of Addiction, Prevention, and Education services at NJCRI. “Development of HIV/AIDS medication remains very expensive and we do not yet know what the long-term effects of treating people with these very powerful drugs may be. It is more affordable and efficient to prevent the transmission of HIV,” Baxter said.

Local and regional corporations and non-profit organizations are encouraged to participate in the New Jersey AIDS Walk. HIV/AIDS service organizations that participate in the walk may do so as secondary beneficiaries, making those organizations eligible to keep a portion of the money they raise.

“During this economic downturn we’re looking to New Jersey AIDS Walk participants, volunteers and corporate sponsors to donate so that NJCRI and other organizations like ours can continue providing life-saving care to those who are medically underserved, as well as providing opportunities to further research for a cure,” McGovern said.

Visit for more information on becoming a sponsor or to register to walk individually or as part of a team.

About NJCRI —The North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) empowers HIV/AIDS patients and those at high-risk by reducing social and health disparities in the greater Essex County area through increased access to medical care and other concrete services including psychosocial support, practical skills building, and knowledge dissemination.

About New Jersey AIDS Walk— Formed in 2010, New Jersey AIDS Walk is a consortium of the state's leading HIV service organizations. Typically a 10k loop, our walks inspire hope for our friends and loved ones who are battling this illness and bring a day of fun, relaxation, and charity to the lives of those who are affected directly and indirectly by HIV/AIDS.
Dinean Robinson