SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – An estimated 25,000 people turned out on Sunday for the 25th annual AIDS Walk San Francisco in Golden Gate Park.

Ryan McKeel, the head of communications for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said they raised more than $3 million for not only the foundation, but nearly 50 other Bay Area AIDS organizations.

“People in this community are really committed to seeing an end to HIV and AIDS in our lifetime,” he said.

McKeel said that the funds will play a vital role in the organization’s efforts to radically reduce the number of HIV infections in San Francisco.

“This disease continues to thrive on the margins,” said McKeel. “It disproportionately impacts people of color. Alarmingly, rates of infection are still on the rise for gay and bisexual men, the only risk group for which this is the case.”

This year marked the 30th anniversary since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States. Currently, 1.1 million people are living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S., the highest number in the history of the epidemic.

McKeel said there is some complacency within the community, with people growing tired of hearing about the disease. But he said the San Francisco AIDS Foundation will continue to put the message out there, that HIV and AIDS is a serious problem and needs attention.

Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $77 million and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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