Dignitas International's Race for Dignity Challenge Raises Close To $300,000 for HIV/AIDS in Africa



    TORONTO, July 6 /CNW/ - On Saturday, July 5, thousands of people
descended upon Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square as part of Dignitas
International's second annual Race for Dignity Challenge, raising close to
$300,000 for HIV/AIDS-related prevention, treatment, care and support in
Africa.
    Friends, families, neighbours, co-workers, celebrities, public officials,
students, activists, artists, medical professionals and private sector actors
came together in an act of solidarity to raise funds and to increase awareness
about inequities in access to HIV/AIDS medications. From noon to 10PM,
participants cycled on stationary spin bikes and were treated to 10 hours of
live onstage entertainment and special guest speakers.
    Presented this year by BMO Financial Group, the Race for Dignity
Challenge is Dignitas's flagship fundraising event. The funds raised will go
directly towards the organization's life-saving work in Malawi, increasing
access to essential medical care and life-saving medications for thousands of
people.
    The Race for Dignity was inspired by one man's resolve to raise awareness
about the global AIDS pandemic. Scott Simpson, an HIV+ Canadian and
medal-winning triathlete, wanted to highlight inequities in access to
healthcare in the developing world by cycling 13,000 km across the continent
of Africa in support of Dignitas. Due to concerns about his health, however,
Scott was unable to complete this challenge.
    From this, the Race for Dignity was created and introduced to a global
audience as a 65-hour spinathon during the XVI International AIDS Conference
held in Toronto in August 2006.
    The Race for Dignity Challenge is a growing grassroots event, supported
by countless individuals working as a community to make a difference.
    Visit http://www.racefordignity.com or
http://www.dignitasinternational.org for more information.

    Dignitas International is a Canadian-based medical humanitarian
organization dramatically increasing access to effective HIV/AIDS-related
prevention, treatment, care and support in resource-limited settings through
developing and sharing community-based solutions. Dignitas was founded and is
led by Dr. James Orbinski and James Fraser, both formerly of Médecins Sans
Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders). Dr. Orbinski accepted the 1999 Nobel
Peace Prize as International President of MSF.





For further information:

For further information: Kathe Rogers, Communications Coordinator, (416)
260-3100 x 113, k.rogers@dignitasinternational.org, or (647) 222-0195
(mobile)

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