KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In less than two weeks, hundreds of bicyclists will take to the streets of Kansas City to raise money for four organizations that provide services for those living with HIV and AIDS.
Cecilia Singletary is one of the 5,700 people living in metro with HIV, according to the AIDS Service Foundation. Singletary was diagnosed 12 years ago. Not soon after, she moved to the Kansas City area to be with her children and she quit her drug habit.
For the last seven years, Singletary feels lucky her health has been good. Her HIV is undetectable right now after taking medicine every 12 hours.
"This is no longer a dying disease, we can live with this," Singletary said.
A drastic difference since the AIDS Epidemic first began in the early 80s. With every medical advancement that benefits those like Singletary, it also gives those who aren't a false sense of security.
"Grandma, ain't nothing wrong with you. That's only because of medicine. Do you want to take medicine the rest of your life?"
The mission of the Kansas City AIDS Bicycle Cruise is to raise money and awareness of the disease that is still a concern.
"People have a lot of misinformation about how you get it, how it's transmitted and people still identify it was a gay disease and it just really isn't," Theresa Van Ackeren said.
Van Ackeren is one of the co-chairs of this year's AIDS Bicycle Cruise, previously known as the bicycle challenge. The organizers re-branded the ride this year in hopes to bring in more riders and donations.
"We really wanted to attract people, we didn't want to put people off, it really isn't that hard of a ride," Van Ackeren said.
The ride is less than 20 miles, with rest stops every couple miles at local bars and organizations sponsoring the ride. The money raised from the cruise goes to the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, Hope Care Center, Save Inc. and The Good Samaritan Project.
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