AV200 bicycle ride to benefit AIDS vaccine research for 15th year

Emory University| Tue May 16 11:19:08 EDT 2017
AV200 bicycle ride to benefit AIDS vaccine research for 15th year

Since the first fundraising ride in 2003, the AV200 has raised more than $2.4 million for AIDS vaccine research. Thanks to its generous sponsors, Action Cycling Atlanta is able to donate 100 percent of all funds raised by participants to AIDS vaccine research at the the Emory Vaccine Center and to Atlanta-area AIDS service organizations who have partnered with the AV200 by sponsoring a team. These unrestricted funds fill funding gaps that cannot be met through grant dollars alone.

More than 200 bicycle riders are expected to participate in the 15th annual two-day, 200-mile AIDS Vaccine 200 (AV200) to benefit AIDS vaccine research at the Emory Vaccine Center. The event on May 20-21 is produced by Action Cycling Atlanta – an all-volunteer organization.

This year's ride travels from Emory School of Medicine on the Clifton Road campus to the Rock Eagle 4-H center in Eatonton, Ga. and back to Emory. Participants will include individual riders and relay teams, with support from a volunteer crew.

The AV200 has raised more than $2.4 million for AIDS vaccine research. Thanks to its generous sponsors, Action Cycling Atlanta is able to donate 100 percent of all funds raised by participants to AIDS vaccine research. These unrestricted funds fill funding gaps that cannot be met through grant dollars alone. 

"An effective AIDS vaccine is still a critical need in the fight against this challenging disease around the world," says Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. The funds from this ride enable our scientists to continue to make groundbreaking advances in understanding the immune system's response to viruses and vaccines and help bring us closer to a vaccine that can prevent and treat HIV infection."

AV200 participant Jonathan Karron is participating in his 6th ride this year, after volunteering for several years prior to riding.

"I ride because I've lost friends to AIDS and have other friends who live with it," says Karron. "And there are so many people living in Atlanta and around the world dealing with the effects of the disease. Despite drugs and tools to prevent and manage it, the numbers are growing in many places. I want to be part of the solution to find a vaccine and support the great work the Emory Vaccine Center is doing. 

Karron has many friends in the ride, and he's made more friends through his involvement.

"It's an amazing group of people of all ages, races, orientations, and from all walks of life. And we'd love to have more people join us. Knowing we are a part of the potential solution is empowering, even if we don't wear lab coats ourselves. There are other ways to help, whether it's riding, advocating or educating others," he says.

The Emory Vaccine Center is one of the largest academic vaccine centers in the world and is renowned for its expertise in cellular immunity and immune memory. A few of the projects that have been supported by Action Cycling's annual AV200 include:

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