The San Antonio Aids Foundation commemorated World Aids Day by remembering the lives lost to AIDS in 2016, but also celebrating the developments being made to fight the deadly epidemic.

"I lost a couple of friends and I lost a family member years ago," said Robert Chavez, an AIDS patient.

The San Antonio Aids Foundation serves almost 30,000 people in a 12 county area every year. Approximately 5,500 people are living with HIV in Bexar County.

"We're opening a new clinic next week. Our testing, we are really going to double our efforts in targeting to high risk populations especially to young men," said Cynthia Nelson, CEO of the San Antonio Aids Foundation.

In 2016, scientists got closer than ever to developing a cure for AIDS. In South Africa, a clinical trial for a vaccine against HIV began Thursday, the first large scale study since 2009.

"That's the push for the national AIDS initiative, to end AIDS in 2020 and its treatment as prevention and prevention as treatment," Nelson said.

For Robert Chavez, the progress gives him hope.

"I'm hoping that there's a cure for all America and the world," he said.