SafeLink Alberta AIDS Walk Update   

Alisha Ostberg Blog, News

For more than 25 years, the Calgary AIDS Walk & Run has been a vibrant, fun-filled event that gathered diverse groups of people from across Calgary to show support and fundraise for those living with and/or affected by HIV. Originally named The AIDS Walk, this community event brought together thousands of Calgarians at the height of the HIV epidemic and at one time, raised upwards of $100,000 towards the delivery of programs and services for those living with HIV. The event was a way for the community to rally around heavily stigmatized people living with HIV and show them support.

Unfortunately, interest in participating in the event has steadily dwindled over the past decade and at this point, implementing and promoting the event has become cost prohibitive. We have made the difficult decision to announce that we will no longer be hosting the Calgary AIDS Walk & Run. 

People living with HIV still need community support and to be welcomed as part of our incredibly diverse city. Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring the important work of the AIDS Walk is not lost and we will do so by continuing to recognize World AIDS Day, which takes place on December 1 each year. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. 

The work continues. 

This year our organization has rebranded and under the new name, SafeLink Alberta, we continue our commitment to supporting those affected by HIV, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. Our services include drop-in services, HIV peer support, case management, street and community outreach, and robust education and capacity-building program. 

Our work continues to need the support of the community and we encourage you to instead support SafeLink Alberta through some of our other giving opportunities. 

Other ways to support. 

 To support our work, you can donate one time or monthly here:  

  • $50 provides a facilitated HIV peer support group for clients. 
  • $100 provides food and hygiene items for five people experiencing food insecurity. 
  • $300 provides our drop-in centre with 10 HIV self-testing kits for clients. 
  • $500 provides a best practice workshop for service providers who work with people who use substances and may be at risk for HIV. 

There are also other ways to support! Many companies offer an employee matching donation program – check with your employer to find out about gift matching or their corporate giving program.  We also encourage you to hold your own event to fundraise for those living with and/or affected by HIV, such as a BBQ or a dinner party, and encourage your guests to bring a donation rather than a gift or food item. Contact us for details on these donation methods at 

Thank you! 

Finally, we want to thank our long-term donors, volunteers, and clients for supporting the Calgary AIDS Walk and Run over the past 3 decades. We hope we can continue to rely on your support in our mission to reduce the harms associated with sexual activity and substance use by offering low-barrier, non-judgmental, and informed programs and services to Calgary and Southern Alberta. 


Katie Ayres 

Executive Director 

SafeLink Alberta