SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio AIDS Foundation took time Thursday on World AIDS Day to honor all people affected by HIV and AIDS in the community.
The foundation began with a special ceremony Thursday morning with a 21-dove salute and the release of 200 red balloons.
During the ceremony, people listened as the names of AIDS patients who passed away this year were read.
Cynthia Nelson, CEO of the foundation, spoke about the latest developments in fighting the epidemic at home, across the country and around the world.
"We have a clinic that is opening in a week. We're hoping that we can quickly connect people to care once they've been in testing," Nelson said. "We're also promoting a new sort of tool -- PREP: Pre-exposure prophylatic -- and that will help anyone who is negative to stay negative so that we can stop the spread of HIV."
According to the most recent data available, about 5,500 people were living with HIV in Bexar County as of Dec. 31, 2014. More than 36 million people around the world have died from AIDS-related causes.