World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1 and was founded in 1988. According to WorldAIDSDay.org, a UK-based organization, “It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.”
OUTMemphis will be observing World AIDS Day 2019 twice in the coming week.
- Sunday, December 1, The Corner will be hosting their Grand Opening starting at 12:00p. The Corner is a new PrEP/PEP clinic operated by Friends For Life Corporation located at 806 S Cooper, just a few blocks down the street from OUTMemphis’s Community Center. They offer free PrEP and PEP, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.
- Monday, December 2, the Memphis Ryan White Program (a part of the Shelby County Health Department that administers federal funding for HIV/AIDS services) will be holding a lantern lighting ceremony at Beale Street Landing (251 Riverside Dr, Memphis, TN 38103) in observance of World AIDS Day.
OUTMemphis will be on site at both of these events, and we invite you to attend as well.
Each year, there is a theme selected for World AIDS Day. The theme for the 2019 World AIDS Day is “Communities Make the Difference.” UNAIDS, an organization leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, has this to say about this year’s theme:
“The commemoration of World AIDS Day, which will take place on 1 December 2019, is an important opportunity to recognize the essential role that communities have played and continue to play in the AIDS response at the international, national and local levels.
Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. Communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Approximately 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today. About 15 percent of them (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected. Nearly 39,000 people are diagnosed with HIV each year, and of those, an estimated 26,000 of those are bisexual & gay men, including other men who have sex with men.
Memphis is currently has the tenth highest rate of new HIV transmissions of any city in the country. In fact, new infections occurring in the American South make up an estimated 52% of all new cases annually. To see these and more statistics, visit HIV.gov.
For more information about HIV testing or navigation to preventative methods like PrEP and PEP, please email Jessie Claudio, Health Services Manager.