The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 and is recognized each year on Dec. 1 with numerous events to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, honor those living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died.
This year’s theme is, “Getting to Zero: Zero new infections, Zero new AIDS deaths & Zero discrimination against people living with HIV.”
Approximately 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS including 1.1 million people in the U.S. living with the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six people in the U.S. do not know they are HIV-positive.
While rates of infection continue to drop worldwide and in the U.S., stabilizing at close to 50,000 new infections each year, infection rates among gay and bisexual men continue to rise, especially among young African-American men.
An Emory study conducted from 2010 to 2014 among men who have sex with men (MSM) revealed that percentage of black gay and bi men over the age of 30 who were living with HIV was higher than 60 percent.
Georgia and the Southeast continue to be at the epicenter of HIV rates. Some statistics from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC:
• Georgia ranked fifth among the 50 states in the number of HIV diagnoses in 2011.
• In 2011, an estimated 2,520 adults and adolescents were diagnosed with HIV in Georgia
• Approximately 55-61 percent of all new HIV or AIDS cases reported in Georgia are in the category of gay or bisexual men.
•African-American gay and bisexual men account for 63 percent of HIV and AIDS cases reported in Georgia among MSM (and 43 percent of the overall state total), but African-Americans comprise only 28 percent of the state population.
• World AIDS Awareness Weekend
When: Friday, Nov. 28 – Sunday, Nov. 30
Where: Georgia World Congress Center & the Intercontinental Buckhead
• The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus hosts the Georgia Sexual Health Policy Symposium
When: Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Georgia State Capitol
Purpose: To educate state legislators, policymakers, public health professionals, advocates, and activists.
• World AIDS Day- Atlanta Youth HIV “Bootcamp”
When: Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Grady Infectious Disease Clinic on Ponce
Purpose: Clinical frontline staff at AIDS service organizations working with young people at risk for or living with HIV and school nurses at Atlanta, DeKalb and Fulton schools. At this half-day workshop, attendees will learn about working with young people at risk for and living with HIV and how to integrate youth-friendly standards into clinical practice. This will also be the first step in reaching Atlanta school health personnel with important messaging about teens’ HIV risk.
• World AIDS Day fundraiser for AID Gwinnett
When: Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Kiko’s Tacos and More, 3435 Medlock Bridge Road, Norcross, GA
What: Eat any meal today at Kiko’s and 15 percent of all food sales will be donated to AID Gwinnett/Ric Crawford Clinic
• World AIDS Day- Atlanta Let’s Talk about HIV Parent Workshop
When: Dec. 1, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Frederick Douglass High School (225 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30318)
Attendees: Parents and families of students attending Atlanta, Fulton or Dekalb Schools
Program Overview: GCAPP and Grady IDP Pediatrics will team up to talk to parents about how to talk to teens about sex and discuss the basics of HIV among youth.
• World AIDS Day Atlanta Love and Light Night Vigil
When: Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Purpose: “This heartfelt vigil will honor those we’ve lost in the fight, but also celebrate young people’s rights to learn about testing and treatment for HIV. Youth musical performances will take place and we will stand together in solidarity in front of the beautiful Atlanta skyline.”
• World AIDS Day Health and Wellness Fair
When: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Aldredge Health Center, 99 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303
Program Overview: Know your Status – HIV Testing
• World AIDS Day Health and Fair
When: Dec. 1, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: 830 Westview Drive (Archer Hall) Atlanta, GA 30314
Program Overview: Students Only