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Organizers look forward to upcoming AIDS Hike for Life

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The weather forecast is pleasing organizers of the upcoming 15th annual AIDS Hike for Life this weekend. The 5K fundraising walk/run is taking place Sunday, April 28th at Hamilton College to support programs of the AIDS Community Resources.

Mohawk Valley Development Associate for AIDS Community Resources says people can expect a little fitness, a little fundraising and a lot of fun.

"So you can walk/run there's the fitness part, and we have a lot of activities for people to do after including food, entertainment, a lot of things on the campus that the students do, so they have their dance troup and a lot of cool cool stuff," said Melissa Swald Camman.

Camman says it's their way of not only raising money for their programs but also to get the message of health safety and disease prevention out to the community.

"So not only do we work with people that have HIV and help them manage their lives, we do a large amount of prevention work in the mohawk valley to keep anybody, you know teens, adults seniors, healthy," said Camman. "And it's about disease prevention, sexual risk reduction, so it's not just about HIV."

Updated statistics from the New York State Department of Health show that youth and young adults in Oneida and Herkimer counties represent a higher percentage of new STD infections than the national estimate of 50%. In 2009, they represented 76% of the reported cases of chlamydia and 67% of the reported cases of gonorrhea and that those cases are increasing.

Camman hopes funds from events like the upcoming Hike for Life can change that.

"I'm a Mohawk Valley resident, it's important to me that the agencies I support in a non for profit way are doing things right in my town, my area, a big part of why I work here and why I like what they're doing we're really trying to keep people healthy," said Camman.

Organizers hope to raise $50,000 for this year's event.

Registration is at 10 am. Sunday morning, the events start at 11 am on the Hamilton College Campus.

All of the money stays local to benefit AIDS Community Resources.

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