SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 37th Annual AIDS Walk in Golden Gate Park raised over $1 million, according to event organizers. The event was back in person for the second straight year following two years virtually due to the pandemic. Thousands participated in the 5K.
"It really got lively quick," said Robert Mansfield, one of the board members for the AIDS Walk SF Foundation. "We saw the activity ramp up from 6, 6:30, 7 -- it came alive, and it has been beautiful here."
Scientists in Germany announced in February a fifth person no longer had detectable levels of HIV in their system. That happened as a result of a high-risk stem cell treatment. Despite the progress, there is still no official cure for HIV/AIDS. Around 38 million people live with the virus.
"Progress is great, but we still have a lot of work to do," Mansfield said. "NIH just released some numbers last week. Infections rates were up -- skyrocketing, so that is a little shocking."
Therefore, The Aids walk still moves on strongly, with Bay Area residents committed to one day finding a cure. The AIDS Quilt, present at Robin Williams Meadow, served as a reminder of the many lives lost to HIV/AIDS.
"We need a lot of awareness, and this is what the quilt is about," said Kelly Hart, an AIDS patient and organizer of the quilt. "It is about educating. It is about remembering those we have lost, and it is continuing being in the face of those who want to say it is a gay disease or that it is over."
The money raised is one thing, but for some, it is also about being a part of something bigger that helps many in need.
"I have an uncle who has AIDS, so I just donate as much as I possibly can," said San Francisco native Romona Finley. "It does me well to get out here and see people enjoying themselves and walking for a cause."
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