Organizers for AIDS Walk Colorado, held in Denver on Sunday, say this year's event drew fewer participants than previous walks and that returns are expected to be well below the $880,000 brought in last year, The Denver Post reports. The walk, which benefits the Colorado AIDS Project, attracted about 7,500 participants, down from 12,000 people at the 2001 walk. Final financial figures won't be available for several weeks, but walk organizers say they anticipate donations to be off by as much as 40% from 2001 figures.
"We are going to feel the impact of this for the next 12 months," said Jacqueline Long, a spokeswoman for the Colorado AIDS Project. She said that the declining participation in the annual fund-raiser--as well as other AIDS walks across the country--is due primarily to a diminished sense of urgency about AIDS. "There is a misconception in this country that AIDS is cured or is something you can live with," she said. "That is simply not true."