In this week’s very special episode of

In 1985, a national poll showed 72 percent of Americans favored mandatory HIV testing. 51 percent favored quarantine. And 15 percent favored tattoos for those infected with HIV. Confusion and ignorance and fear characterized the American understanding of AIDS; it was at this time that a 14-year-old named Ryan White, diagnosed with AIDS at one year prior, was barred from attending his public school in Indiana. 20,470 cases of AIDS had been reported in the U.S. in 1985, and 8,161 were dead. It was the height of the AIDS epidemic, and motivated by our government’s shameful and negligible response to the crisis, a man named Craig Miller organized the world’s first AIDS Walk in Los Angeles.

Miller worked with a brand-new organization called the AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), and projected that around 1,000 supporters total would walk, raising an estimated $100,000. On July 28, 1985 in Los Angeles, those numbers were shattered as more than 4,500 people walked in the first ever AIDS Walk worldwide, raising $673,000.

Today, the LA AIDS Walk is the largest fundraising event in California. It gathers together thousands of participants annually, raising millions of dollars for the APLA, providing services to thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS and managing a number of prevention programs. Since its inception in 1984, fundraising events like AIDS Walk LA have been implemented in communities across the United States, but AIDS Walk LA remains one of the most important and symbolic events of its kind. stands in support of AIDS Walk LA, and we are proud and honored to be official media sponsors of this year’s AIDS Walk event. AIDS Walk happens Sunday, October 14th – follow on Twitter @AIDSWalkLA and register yourself as a walker or donor here. Things in the United States have gotten a lot better since 1985, but the AIDS epidemic continues to rage in the developing world, and events like AIDS Walk LA help draw continued attention to an ongoing issue, with a history we must never forget.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.