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Hilary Duff – Grand Marshal for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) New York AIDS Walk on May 17 – will be part of a ceremony to turn the Empire State Building’s lights red on Thursday, May 14.

“From sunset to midnight on Thursday, New Yorkers will see the solid red color, synonymous with AIDS awareness, beaming from the building,” said Marjorie J. Hill, chief executive officer of GMHC. “The red lights will serve as a reminder that AIDS is still a matter of great urgency in New York and throughout the United States.”

Duff will also act as co-host of the of the AIDS Walk opening ceremony in Manhattan’s Central Park, and will walk with her team, “Hilary Duff — Walk with Love.”

“We have a responsibility to educate young people about HIV/AIDS,” said Duff. “So when I hear about how more young people are getting HIV because they don’t understand the risks of infection, it just seems so tragic and avoidable. I’m fortunate to have the type of relationship that I do with my fans — I can ask them to participate in their communities and I receive a great response… I am grateful that so many of them have decided to join me by donating to the AIDS Walk and even walking with me.”

Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $105 million for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2008 alone, 45,000 participants, many of whom were members of 2,450 corporate and community teams, raised a record sum of over $7 million for Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and 50 other local AIDS service organizations.

To find out more about how to take part in this event, visit the official website.

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