AIDS Walk New York Returns to Central Park

The AIDS Walk New York returned to an in-person format for the first time since 2019.
Matt McDermott

Thousands of people gathered in Central Park on May 15 for New York’s annual AIDS Walk, marking the first in-person edition of the fundraiser since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s star-studded event — featuring folks like Jordan Barrow of “Wicked,” Krystal Joy Brown of “Motown: The Musical,” and Emily Watson of “Come From Away” — generated $2.25 million for GMHC and other HIV/AIDS service providers in the area. Nearly 10,000 people in total joined the walk.

“AIDS Walk New York remains one of the city’s largest and most diverse community events,” Kishani C. Moreno, the interim CEO and COO of GMHC, said in a written statement. “Even during these challenging times, it brought together thousands of caring people in a powerful demonstration of compassion and action. As GMHC marks its 40th year, the walk recognized the important accomplishments we have made over the years, while shining a light on the work we still need to do — together — to end the HIV epidemic.”

Participants had the option of walking or running the four-mile event, which was followed up by a post-walk dance party at Bandshell. There was also free HIV testing and other resources.

This year’s walk, Moreno said, was especially important given the evolving needs of people living with HIV/AIDS during the pandemic. GMHC has seen much greater demand for groceries, housing, mental health services, and other needs.

While the AIDS Walk was held virtually for the past two years, there were also limited in-person events. Last year there was a small watch party at Central Park’s Tavern on the Green as part of a special “AIDS Walk: Live at Home” event featuring a half-dozen cities, including New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

See some pictures of this year’s AIDS Walk New York:

Led by J. Christopher Williams (center), the Pride Puppets stand tall at the AIDS Walk.Matt McDermott
The total fundraising haul of the day.Matt McDermott
Members of the House of Mugler and House of Juicy Couture perform.Matt McDermott
Gotham Cheer brings the entertainment.Matt McDermott
Jon Mallow, Chair of the GMHC Board of Directors, delivers remarks.Matt McDermott
City Councilmember Gale Brewer, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and Councilmember Erik Bottcher.Matt McDermott