Thousands Take Part in 15th Annual AIDS Life Cycle

Thousands of cyclists set off on a journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Sunday to raise awareness about AIDS.

The annual AIDS Life Cycle left the city in the morning, with 3,000 riders pedaling to Santa Cruz on the first leg of the 545-mile trip.

After spending the night on the Monterey Bay coast, the group will set off for King City on Monday.

"My boyfriend and I raised over $9,000 together, and we’re here to end AIDS," said Mari Azizkhanian of San Francisco.

Fellow cyclist Gabriel Peixoto added: "And I do it for friends who have passed, but I also do it for solidarity and getting a community together, and it’s a lot of fun."

San Francisco has one of the largest HIV-positive populations per capita in the U.S., with nearly 16,000 people diagnosed.

The event marked it 15th year raising money and awareness in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

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