SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Thousands of cyclists hit the road Sunday, heading from the Bay Area to Los Angeles to raise money for the fight against AIDS.

The AIDS LifeCycle endurance ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles is the single largest fundraiser in the fight against AIDS, and this year raised a record $15 million.

Riders now harness the power of social media to raise donations.

“Now it’s almost all done online, and so many people raise tons of money on Facebook. We’ve even had riders who’ve raised $25 thousand on $5 pledges on Facebook,” Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center said.

Earlier this year, researchers announced that modern drug therapies seem to be stopping infected people from spreading the virus, and may even prevent non-infected people from getting it at all.

“Those things combined really are game-changers, with regard to fighting HIV, and moving towards the end of the epidemic,” Neil Giuliano, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation said.

It will take seven days for the riders to complete the 545-mile journey.


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