UPDATE: The City of West Hollywood has revised its World AIDS Days observance plans. CLICK HERE for updated story.
World AIDS Day is Tuesday, Dec. 1 and the City of West Hollywood will be observing the day with several events:
- AIDSWatch, the electronic memorial to those lost to HIV, will be viewable on WeHoTV from Friday (Nov. 27) through the morning of Monday (Nov. 30).
- The ONE Archives Foundation will display an outdoor installation of HIV/AIDS posters and images from the ONE Archives collection through Dec. 31 on the temporary construction fencing surrounding West Hollywood Park as well as at the corner of N. Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards.
- The Paul Andrew Starke Warrior Awards presentation will take place virtually on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. The event will feature the Warrior Awards, which are given to outstanding employees or volunteers of local agencies that offer HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse prevention and care services. The event will also feature an update on the West Hollywood HIV Zero Initiative from the city’s consultant, Aaron Celious, Ph.D., of the Maroon Society.
“The city’s annual recognition of World AIDS Day is a chance for us each to stop and take note of the extraordinary loss that our community has experienced during nearly four decades, as well as our remarkable resiliency in the face of that loss,” said Mayor Lindsey Horvath. “So many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones have been taken due to HIV and AIDS; yet we continue our fight to end their transmission through education, access to medical care, and resources for ALL people. Our reflection and commemoration are an occasion to deepen our resolve to our city’s vision of ending HIV and AIDS.”
The onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic had a significant impact in West Hollywood. The disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men caused a high number of deaths in the city. As a result, the city was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local HIV/AIDS organizations.
Held each year on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day is an opportunity forpeople worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have passed away due to HIV/AIDS.
The first observance happened at the 1988 United Nations World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programsfor AIDS Prevention. It has since become a worldwide observance. The international theme of this year’s #WorldAIDSDay is “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility.”
Additionally, the city of West Hollywood is currently seeking feedback about stigma experienced as a result of sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. The city’s social services division has launched a short survey, as part of efforts to implement the city’sHIV Zero Initiative.
Community members, regardless of HIV status, are encouraged to provide feedback. A goal of the survey is to understand how stigma impacts access to care and overall health and wellness. The survey is available at:https://www.weho.org/services/social-services/hiv-aids-resources.
For more information, please contact Derek Murray, Social Services Program Administrator, at email@example.com or at (323) 848-6478. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.