Sacramento Valley Aids Run-Walk ©

An estimated 10,000 children in the United States are living with HIV, which can severely affect their development, psychological needs and emotional well being. In addition, a child's evolving immune system is distinct from an adult's, requiring specialized care and monitoring.

The UC Davis Children's Hospital HIV Clinic is the only facility in the Sacramento region where an expert team of pediatric and adolescent health doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists and pharmacists provide comprehensive services for children with HIV.

Community participation in last weekend's 2010 Sacramento Valley AIDS Run-Walk helps support the clinic, which is one of the HIV service providers benefiting from event proceeds.

Sacramento Valley Aids Run-Walk ©All run-walk donations to the clinic support patients' basic needs — beyond their medical needs — by allowing them to participate in activities that improve their quality of life and build self-esteem. The funds support necessities for families such as paying for utility bills, groceries and gasoline to offset the costs of travel to medical appointments. They also have been used to help purchase sports uniforms, tutoring, drivers' education and prom dresses for patients.

"Besides being part of the pediatric and adolescent HIV treatment team, participating in the run-walk is one of the most rewarding things that I do," said Lisa Ashley, a pediatric nurse practitioner for UC Davis Children's Hospital. "It's one of the special times during the year when all local service providers come together to show their unity and support for HIV survivors in our region. It also gives us the chance to create awareness of the unique needs of children and young adults with the virus."

For more information about supporting the UC Davis Children's Hospital HIV Clinic, please call Lisa Ashley at 916-734-7618. For more information about UC Davis pediatric infectious disease specialists, visit the UC Davis Children's Hospital website.