AIDS Walk 2017
The Trinity Church team of staff and parishioners at the AIDS Walk in 2017.

Trinity Church Gears Up for AIDS Walk 2024

Trinity Church is returning to AIDS Walk New York on May 19 with a team of parishioners and staff eager to put their faith into action by caring for their neighbors – one step at a time.  

Led by Trinity's LGBT Concerns Group and longtime AIDS Walk participant Al DiRaffaele, the team is heading to Central Park with the goal of raising $10,000 for the GMHC and other organizations that serve thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. 

Join Trinity’s AIDS Walk New York 2024 team by walking, donating, or spreading the word. 

Originally founded as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the GMHC launched in 1981 as a grassroots response to the emerging epidemic. The organization combats rising HIV infection rates by addressing the factors that prevent people from accessing treatment, including food and housing insecurity, unemployment, and lack of access to health care. Today, AIDS Walk New York is one of the GMHC’s primary fundraisers — and the world’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event.  

Al DiRaffaele (far right) holds Trinity Church's banner during Aids Walk New York in 2019.
Al DiRaffaele (far right) holds Trinity Church's banner during Aids Walk New York in 2019.

DiRaffaele is a Trinity parishioner who has participated in the AIDS Walk every year since its founding in 1986. An AIDS survivor himself, DiRaffaele has said he remembers the terror that gripped New York City’s LGBTQ+ community in the earliest days of the epidemic.  

“Young people were dying of a virus [and] no one really knew what was going on. It was an epidemic that stunned the gay community,” he said in a 2023 interview with the Trinity Youth History Fellows. “It was a time of my life that I can cry over. It was very sad.” 

Raising funds for the GMHC gives DiRaffaele a sense of purpose. “I love helping those who are in need,” he said in 2021. “That’s how I get through my day.” 

AIDS continues to impact lives, often affecting the most vulnerable communities. Over 70% of the GMHC’s clients live below the federal poverty line and over 40% come from communities of color. Worldwide, about 630,000 people died of HIV-related illnesses in 2022, according to the World Health Organization.  

Trinity Church has participated in the historic AIDS Walk fundraiser every year for almost a decade, including two years when the event was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. DiRaffaele has been instrumental in recruiting Trinity community members for the walk — but ultimately, he’s hoping for a time when he won’t ever have to participate again.  

“Every year, I hope the AIDS Walk NY will come to an end, ending this nightmare not only for myself, but for the world,” he said in 2023

Support Trinity’s AIDS Walk New York 2024 team. 

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