ASO observes awareness day

UPDATE: There has been a change of venue for this event. It will now be held at the Emmett Scott Center, 801 Crawford Rd.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Affinity Health Center will take part in the annual observation of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) which occurs on Feb. 7, with this year’s national theme being “It Takes a Village to Fight HIV/AIDS.”

The national event is an HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage Blacks across the U.S. to get educated, get tested, get involved and get treated around HIV/AIDS, as it continues to devastate Black communities.

At Affinity, the focus will revolve around “I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS” and the AIDS service organization will join with the community to provide an entertaining and educational event for the public on Feb. 4, 12 p.m., at the War Memorial Building, 199 S. Cherry Rd. Participants will be encouraged to “get educated, get empowered, get involved, and start effective conversations around HIV/AIDS.”

Free food, giveaways, educational opportunities, community partner information, speakers, youth group performances and more will be available.

The rates of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the South have been some of the highest in the U.S. And, in 2014 an estimated 44 percent of new HIV diagnoses were among African-Americans. South Carolina’s African-Americans comprise 28 percent of the total population and 72 percent of the total individuals living with HIV.

Those who cannot attend the Feb. 4 event are encouraged to visit Affinity Health Center at 500 Lakeshore Pkwy. for free HIV, hepatitis C, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing from Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m-6 p.m., during the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 2.


Ball event to benefit SC Equality

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Exaugural Ball, the South’s premiere festivity which honors what makes America great already, will be held on Jan. 20, 7 p.m., at The Dewberry Ballroom, 334 Meeting St.

This black tie event celebrates the greatness of America and the fight to protect the rights of many and “for those who have worked hard to get us to where we are, and as a gathering for those who will work the hardest to keep us from falling backwards,” organizers shared. Monies raised will go to several organizations to help them continue to fight for equality and more in the future.

Among those who will receive 100 percent net proceeds from the event is South Carolina Equality. The organizers are also contributing to Palmetto Project Homeless to Hope Fund, Pro Bono Legal, NAACP, Thrive SC and Coastal Conservation League.

Tickets are $175/general and $275/VIP and are available online at


Guild to host learning lunch

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The Coastal Business Guild will host its Lunch & Learn on Feb. 7, 12:30 p.m., at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 101 Fantasy Harbour Blvd.

Topic for the quarterly event will be “Your rights. Your Options. Financial Planning for LGBT Individuals and Families.” It will be presented by Marcia Werner and Carolyn Brooks, financial planners with Waddell & Reed.

Objective for the presentation is to provide a financial planning background and checklist designed especially for LGBTQ individuals and families.

The event is free for all guild members. Guest fee is $10. An RSVP is requested by Jan. 30 to in order for organizers to properly prepare for seating and lunch selection.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.