Hundreds of Calgarians donned their team colours and walking shoes for a good cause yesterday.

It was the 18th annual Scotiabank AIDS Calgary walk at Eau Claire market and families, friends and even pets gathered for the event to raise money and awareness about the devastating illness.

Ryan Jones was proud to see so many people out and had his own team of a dozen walkers supporting his every step. Jones has been HIV-positive for 11 years.

“And for 11 years I’ve been doing various fundraisers in different cities. And I will continue to do it for as long as I can,” Jones said.

“When I first found out I was positive, I was confused, scared and alone. But (Vancouver and Calgary AIDS organizations) helped me through and I’m here to help them back.”

Jeff Kapler, chairman of the AIDS Calgary board of directors, said AIDS is still a serious problem in society.

“We know the trend across North America that there is an increase in the illness, particularly among young people,” Kapler said.

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