By Huffington Post
A crowd of 20,000 gathered in Golden Gate Park July 15 to participate in the San Francisco Aids Walk, which celebrated its 26th anniversary with one of the largest crowds yet for the 10k walk.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation raised $2,686,582 through the event, allowing the organization to continue to lead the way with life-saving prevention programs and public policy initiatives.
“Our participants show such dedication year after year because they know that ending AIDS is about fighting more than the virus itself. It is also about overcoming poverty, racism, sexism, and homophobia. These social ills continue to fuel the epidemic,” said Craig. R. Miller, founder and producer of the event.
Currently, 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, more than at any other time in history. In San Francisco, more than 15,500 suffer from the disease. Alarmingly, rates of new HIV infections are still rising among gay and bisexual men, the only risk group for which this is the case.
But there may be hope. “This is the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic,” Dr. Diane Havlir, UCSF HIV/AIDS division chair, said last week. Havlir said enormous advances have been made in recent years in the research and medical fields towards the future prevention of HIV and AIDS.
“AIDS Walk San Francisco embodies the true spirit of our city with thousands of people from all walks of life coming together for a singular purpose: to make a real difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Mayor Ed Lee.