December 1 is World AIDS Day – it’s an opportunity to learn the facts about HIV/AIDS. Knowing the reality of living with HIV/AIDS may help prevent people getting it, and help to make sure people living with HIV are treated fairly.
The first World AIDS Day took place in 1988.
The worldwide effort draws people together in solidarity to celebrate the victories that allow more people to live longer and healthier. It’s also a time to pay tribute to the millions of people who lost their battle with AIDS and to make a renewed commitment to assist those who are living with or at risk for HIV.
In Broward County, one in 78 people ages 13 and older are HIV positive. Broward County has experienced the highest rates of new HIV and AIDS cases in the U.S., according to the Florida Department of Health.
The largest WAD event in Broward County is the World AIDS Day Vigil and Remembrance Walk. The candlelight walk begins in Hagen Park at 2020 Wilton Drive and continues through Wilton Manors before ending at the Pride Center at Equality Park. Once there, a few words of remembrance are spoken in this tradition of hope and healing. The event is free and open to the public.
Out of the Closet holds free HIV testing at all of its South Florida locations. Mobile testing units from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) perform rapid, free, 1 minute HIV testing in communities across South Florida. AHF will also participate in a prayer breakfast in partnership with the Urban League or Broward County, on Dec. 2, connected to WAD events.
Latinos Salud will have mobile HIV testing and condom outreach on Dec. 1, in front of its office on 2330 Wilton Drive from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Broward County Library Hollywood Branch will display books about HIV/AIDS that are also available for checkout. The display is from 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Broward County Library Hollywood Branch is located at 2600 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL.
The Stonewall Museum exhibit, A Community Responds: Our Response to HIV/AIDS runs though Jan. 7. This powerful collection explores the human response by the people most affected by the AIDS epidemic. It explores the communities that responded to AIDS using grass roots methods and employed creative methods to fight a disease when politicians wouldn’t acknowledge it. The Stonewall Museum Wilton Manors Gallery is located at 2157 Wilton Drive.
The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center teaches AIDS education in select Broward County high schools on WAD. Dec. 1 is a great to visit the museum’s signature exhibit – The Chronology of AIDS. The exhibit presents the progression of the pandemic alongside key global events. It summarizes the global response to fighting AIDS and honors those affected by the disease. The museum is located at 1201 NE 26th St. Suite 111 Wilton Manors. For more information, visit WorldAIDSmuseum.org/exhibits.