Though we’d like to think the HIV/AIDS epidemic is over or no longer a threat to our communities, statistics, both in the United States and globally, prove otherwise. More than 1.2 million people in America are living with HIV, with almost 14% of them unaware of their status. On a much larger scale, according to the World Health Organization, about 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 3.2 million are children under the age of 15. Our work with HIV/AIDS is far from over, but hope still lives.
World AIDS Day, held each year on December 1, is a day of remembrance across the world, honoring and giving attention to the battles fought and lives lost, healing, and hope. This year’s theme is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free generation,” and here in Austin dedicated groups have been diligent in combatting HIV/AIDS. With organizations like The Wright House Wellness Center, AIDS Services of Austin, The Octopus Club, Project Transitions, and others, the LGBT community (one of the communities most severely affected by HIV/AIDS) and other local communities get the resources, education, and support needed to improve the lives of those living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. Here are some ways you can honor World AIDS Day:
•The City of Austin Health and Human Services Department World AIDS Day Event
Activities will include a workshop on steps to develop a HIV-compassionate church, brief personal accounts from individuals infected/affected by HIV/AIDS, History of World AIDS Day in Austin/AIDS Quilt, a presentation on the City of Austin’s vision of an HIV/AIDS response, a live radio remote, entertainment, and a proclamation and personal visit by the Mayor of Austin. To learn more about the workshop and register, visit the workshop website. David Chapel Church, 2211 Martin Luther King Boulevard in Austin on December 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
•Care Communities and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection 17th annual Central Texas area World AIDS Day Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Hope
The community is invited to gather for this annual World AIDS Day service of remembrance, which marks world AIDS observances for 2014. This service also provides a vivid reminder of the need for renewed awareness of the extent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic here in central Texas. To learn more, e-mail Roger Temme. Monday, December 1 at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 2200 Justin Lane (near Burnet Road) beginning at 7:00 p.m.
•Free HIV testing at Out Youth
Free testing for those ages 14-35. Monday, December 1st, 4:30pm – 6:40pm
Learn more about organizations keeping hope alive in the fight with HIV/AIDS here in Austin. Enjoy some of our favorite stories from the L Style G Style archive:
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