An estimated 30,000 people flooded West Hollywood's streets Sunday for the 28th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles, raising almost $2.9 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The massive crowd assembled in and around West Hollywood Park and included members of the Weho City Council, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, celebrity supporters and notable AIDS activists.
"The 30,000 participants who took to the streets today can take pride in the incredible $2,912,209 raised to fight AIDS and lift up the lives of those affected by HIV," event founder and producer Craig Miller said. "Thanks to thousands of dedicated people who walk and fundraise each year, we have made tremendous progress and we are facing a better day in the fight against AIDS."
The event has raised more than $75 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout the county since its inception.
Weho Councilman John D'Amico worked with APLA in the mid-90s and said that AIDS Walk is near to his heart.
"As we saw today, personal stories are what keep agencies like APLA and events like AIDS Walk L.A. relevant," D'Amico said. "APLA helped many of my friends die with dignity, and helps me and many more live our lives. The real possibility that the AIDS epidemic may be in its final chapter is a testament to the ongoing commitment of regular people who show up when called upon and who believe everyone should be treated with dignity."
A number of large groups wearing matching T-shirts, representing different high schools, universities, sororities and fraternities, made their presence felt throughout the walk, cheering and holding signs. There were also many parents pushing strollers along the 6-mile course.
"I don't want my kids to know about AIDS quite yet," Tran Nguyen said during the walk. "But I do want them to start recognizing that there are things in the world that matter and people who need support."
—City News Service contributed to this report.