For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Kristen Hellwig
213.201.1453 (o)
310.254.5666 (m)
media@apla.org

Silver Medal-Winning Olympian Living with HIV Joins TEAM TO END AIDS
Los Angeles Endurance Training Program

Openly gay Australian gymnast Ji Wallace to support programs for low-income Angelenos living with HIV/AIDS

Los Angeles, Calif. (December 1, 2012) – Olympic silver medalist Ji Wallace has joined TEAM TO END AIDS (T2), an endurance training program benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), and will run the 2013 Honda L.A. Marathon, APLA announced Saturday.

The announcement comes just months after Wallace revealed to the Sydney Star Observer that he is living with HIV. Wallace is the third Olympian to disclose his HIV-positive status, following Magic Johnson and Greg Louganis.

In 2008, Wallace was a cast member with Cirque Du Soleil and suffered a severe fall, causing significant injuries that prevented him from walking. After 21 months of rehabilitation, Wallace was finally able to walk again. Now fully recovered, Wallace says that he is “very excited to be in Los Angeles with T2 for the Honda L.A. Marathon.”

In 2012, nearly 300 people ran the Honda L.A. Marathon with TEAM TO END AIDS, making T2 the largest charity involved in the event. As part of the T2 training program, this group raised over $325,000 for the lifesaving care, prevention, and advocacy programs of APLA.

TEAM TO END AIDS participants raise awareness and critical funds for the fight against AIDS. Many participants are complete beginners when they sign up, but after completing T2’s endurance training program, T2 athletes are well equipped to cross the finish line. During training season, participants receive consistent support from experienced athletic coaches, knowledgeable fundraising staff, and supportive teammates. More information is available at TEAMTOENDAIDS.com.

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AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) was founded in 1983 and is one of the largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States. APLA provides bilingual support to more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County annually and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Additionally, APLA conducts behavioral research designed to inform the development of evidenced-based interventions and assists health departments in evaluating their HIV/AIDS services to ensure the delivery of effective and quality programs. APLA also provides administrative and fiscal support to the Global Forum on Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSMGF), which promotes and advocated for the health and human rights of MSM internationally. APLA is proud to be a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, please visit apla.org.

APLA Health & Wellness (APLAHW) provides primary medical and oral health care, behavioral health services, HIV testing, PrEP counseling and management of eligible clients, STD screening/treatment, and health education and HIV-prevention services, with a specific focus on low-income gay and bisexual men of color and transgender individuals living in Los Angeles County. APLAHW is a federally qualified health center that includes: the Gleicher / Chen Health Center in South Los Angeles; the Wilshire Dental Clinic downtown; Behavioral Health Services at the David Geffen Center in Mid-City; as well as a mobile dental facility. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Dental Clinic in South Los Angeles is also part of APLAHW. APLAHW serves more than 8,000 people each year. For more information, please visit aplahw.org.

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