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AIDS Walk Arizona

AIDS Walk Arizona 2022 raised more than $230,000, surpassing the event’s fund-raising goal, as nearly 2,000 people spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon participating at Tempe Beach Park.

“Forty years after first discovering the virus, the battle against HIV/AIDS is not over,” said Aunt Rita’s Foundation Executive Director Jimmy Thomason. “We’ve made tremendous progress but our commitment to ensuring ongoing awareness, education, prevention and resources is as strong as ever. The money raised at AIDS Walk, and the incredible support we experienced, will go a long way in continuing our mission and bringing our vision to light.”

AIDS Walk Arizona

AIDS Walk Arizona 2022 was presented by CAN Community Health, a national organization dedicated to improving lives in the community and expanding the availability and accessibility of PrEP, a one-pill-a-day medication that reduces the risk of getting HIV by more than 99% when taken as prescribed.

Additional sponsors included Walgreens, which raised $27,000 through the annual wristband campaign; Gilead, featuring its product Bitkarvy; Sonora Quest Laboratories, sponsors of Kids for the Cause; and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Vodka for Dog People, sponsor of Paws for the Cause.

Elijah Palles and Regina Wells were AIDS Walk Arizona 2022 co-chairs.

With roots in Phoenix since 1988, Aunt Rita’s Foundation is dedicated to the elimination of, and suffering from, HIV and AIDS through collaborations with Arizona HIV service organizations and local and statewide government agencies.

About Aunt Rita’s Foundation

In our mission to end HIV in Arizona, Aunt Rita’s quietly began in 1988 with our first fundraising bake sale. Since then, Aunt Rita’s Foundation has provided millions of dollars to HIV programs and prides itself as the “Connector of the HIV Community” with gap-filling programs that include testing and collaborative initiatives. Partner agencies include Ebony House, The Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, CAN Community Health, Chicanos Por La Causa LUCES Program, HEAL International, HIV Care Directions, Valleywise Health, one n ten, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Southwest Center, Shot in the Dark, Southwest Recovery Alliance and Terros Health. Aunt Rita’s distributes free Home HIV oral swap test kits through GetTestedAz.org and provides vouchers for confidential clinical testings at 100 Safeway stores and Sonora Quest locations statewide. Aunt Rita’s signature fund-raising events areAIDS Walk Arizona and RED is the Night and will commemorate World AIDS Day with a community-oriented Picnic in the Park. Aunt Rita’s Foundation also works with the Arizona Department of Health Services to increase awareness and education about HIV/AIDS statewide through HIVAZ.ORG. For more information, visit www.auntritas.org or call (602) 882-8675.

Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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The worlds of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms have completely revolutionized the fitness industry. Social media has, seemingly overnight, transformed virtually every facet of how we do business in fitness. It has forever changed information access, coaching, marketing, group accountability, perceptions of ideal physiques, trends and so on.

Love it or hate it, it seems as though social media is here to stay. So, I’ve put together my Trainer Tia’s Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to combining your favorite social media platform with your fitness journey.

Do vet the accounts you follow.

Social media can be a vast resource for knowledge, motivation and accountability. These are the three biggest things that most people want from a trainer or other fitness guide. If you find the right accounts to follow (easier said than done), you can get all three of these things for free! So, how does one find the right accounts to follow? Here are some pointers on what to avoid that will help you make that determination.

First, avoid profiles trying to sell things or recruit people to sell things (read: pyramid scheme). If they are constantly giving “shoutouts,” referrals, discount codes and tags, they are probably not in it for you – this kind of user is posting to promote themselves. Be wary taking advice from people who don’t want to really help you, in the end.

woman in brown turtleneck sweater covering her face with her hand Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Also, avoid putting a lot of stock in profiles that don’t reflect your values (i.e. if you’re a vegan bodybuilder, I’d advise against following the bodybuilders who worship the animal protein part of their process). This is different for everyone, so you’ll know when you see it. Just know it’s OK to hit unfollow.

Last, but not least, avoid thirst traps (unless you’re into that kind of thing, of course). If someone looks amazing but fails to accurately relay the details of their workout program, goals, or progress, just realize that they’re best classified as eye candy and not a fitness authority. And that’s OK too.

Don’t overwhelm your followers with nudes parading around as “progress pics.”

Let’s be real, there’s already enough of that out there. Tasteful displays of physiques are one thing, but when 80 percent of your pictures are in the same booty-popped pose with way too much skin, you’re probably not taking “progress pics” anymore.

Do ask for advice and help from your favorite fitness guides.

Again, this information is free and can go a long way. Let your favorite accounts know what you’d like to see or learn and I can almost guarantee that, if they care about their reputations, they’ll answer your questions. Give it a shot. You’re not the only one who wants to know that particular answer, I promise you.

Don’t be fooled by fool’s gold.

Meaning, don’t feel compelled to try that “amazing new ab shredder guaranteed to give you a six pack in six days” … it’s not going to work. Tag your trainer friend on the post or ask your trainer if that movement or program actually works. More than likely, it’s just another sensational marketing ploy that doesn’t actually transform your body. Remember, the old school basic movements have been around for thousands of years for a reason: because they work! This new fad, diet, juice/shake, program that looks seem too good to be true – is most likely a waste of your time. Instead, find profiles that relay the realistic amount of hard work and dedication that it takes to have an ideal physique. Remember, results take time!

Blue Facebook Thumb Up Blue Facebook Thumb Up Photo by Jackson So on Unsplash

Do participate!

Like that picture. Tag your fitness friends on something that you like. Post your story with courage and belief in yourself. With the new algorithms in social media, this will result you seeing more of what you like in your feed. It’s not like you have a finite number of “likes” that you can give out. Be liberal with your liking, it lets the platform know what you’d like to see more of. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and engage with the users you admire or the content you are interested in.

Don’t compare yourself to those heavily edited photos of perfection.

I write about this frequently because it’s so prevalent. Remember, Photoshop is an incredible editing tool that can completely alter a physique, before/after comparisons, adjust lighting, draw in shadows/cuts, slim a waist, enlarge a bicep, and much more. Many photos you see on social media are not real. Please remember this when you’re comparing yourself to anything you scroll past!

Social media has become a huge part of our daily lives, and it certainly has its own decorum. Hopefully, these Do’s and Don’ts give you a taste of how a professional sees fitness and social media working (and not working) together. In the end, though, it’s your journey so customize as you see fit.

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