CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The weather was brisk but that didn't stop people from coming out for the 21st AIDS Walk in uptown.

More than 25,000 people in North Carolina live with the disease that isn't as publicized as it once was. But that doesn't mean it still isn't affecting lives locally.

"My cousin died of AIDS in 1990... and I've lost several friends from AIDS," walker Denise Furr said.



The need for comfort, support, and a cure are still with us. As much as it was 25 years ago when hospital Chaplain Debbie Warren founded the AIDS advocacy group RAIN.

"We know that across the country, but especially here in the deep south, stigma and discrimination still fuel this epidemic," Warren said.

The AIDS WALK Charlotte benefits the services and programs RAIN provides to youth, adults and senior adults living with HIV and those that are at risk of becoming effected. 

The event began at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Gateway Village Promenade and followed a course throughout uptown. As of Saturday afternoon, the campaign raised over $141,400 of its $160,000 goal.