The University of California, San Francisco has been a steadfast participant in AIDS Walk San Francisco since the walk's inception. Ranking as the number two fundraising team in 2012, UCSF is actually a coalition of teams, ranging in participation from faculty and staff to student walkers. Last year they collectively raised more than $56,000, and have set themselves a goal of $65,000 for 2013.
On May 24, the group hosted their AIDS Walk kickoff at the Parnassus campus. The event itself was very successful, with prominent guest speakers Paul Volberding, director of the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF; an inspiring force behind the team, Moupali Das, who spoke on San Francisco’s approach to HIV and AIDS; and Serah Gitome and James Ayieko from FACES, a collaboration between UCSF and Kenya Medical Research Institute.
"UC San Francisco's commitment to community is part of our DNA," says Barbara J. French, vice chancellor of university relations. "As a leading university exclusively focused on health, UCSF has long confronted AIDS through our research, patient care activities, and education of future health professionals. AIDS Walk San Francisco is a fun way to bring our faculty, staff, and students together to take steps to help eliminate this epidemic."
Currently UCSF has 14 registered teams from many different departments and many different schools. Led by Jennifer Mannix, a champion team leader, the UCSF Coalition promises to be an even stronger force than last year. Armed with dozens and dozens of posters, the university blankets the campuses with AIDS Walk materials in an effort to not only spread awareness and recruit, but also to bring forth that sense of communal support that French describes. As a bonus, the highest fundraising UCSF team wins the highly coveted UCSF fundraising trophy.