It’s a day many people looked forward to -- hundreds turned out to the AIDS Walk Austin to put the disease in the public spotlight.
Christine Ballard lost her two youngest brothers to AIDS. Her brother Chuck died in 1992, back when the virus came with more of a stigma.
"It's a big difference, because the doctor that treated him was even scared to go in his room," Ballard said.
She credits events like the walk with tearing down those stigmas.
She and her family had t-shirts and signs so her brothers could look down and find them in the crowd.
"I think up there and I say, ‘You guys better appreciate this, because I'm getting old,’" Ballard said.
And this year, even more participants decided to walk the walk.
"We have more walkers registered this year. We broke funding levels that we never have before, at this point," said Ann Hargrove, with AIDS Walk Austin.
Even before the first step, the walk raised over $200,000. It's a boost for different AIDS research agencies that lost funding to government spending cuts.
"And those 11 agencies have felt funding cuts this year to the tune of $800,000," Hargrove said.
While they didn’t completely fill the gap on Sunday afternoon, the large turnout maybe a sign of change.
"A walk like this means that we can come together and remember the people that we lost,” said Paul Scott of AIDS Services Austin. “But also come together and know that together we can stop the spread of HIV."
That’s a mission they'll carry with them long after this year's walk.
"We still need to be able to kind of go out there and say this is impacting our youth and the next generation and we need to work to stop it," Scott said.
YNN's own meteorologist Rich Segal also spoke at Sunday's AIDS Walk.
To find how you can help the fight against AIDS, visit asaustin.org.