This story is supported by donations made to the Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund. The Local Media Foundation/Carolinas LGBTQ Journalism Fund Program provides support for the work of QnotesCarolinas.com to educate and inform the public in communities in the Carolinas about LGBTQ issues and cultures. To support, visit https://givebutter.com/lmf-qnotescarolinas
Taking part in 2021 World AIDS Day observances is, as last year, impacted by the global pandemic. Regardless, some events will move forward in-person, while others will be virtual.
The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day, as established by the U.S. government, is “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice.” The United Nations’ AIDS global theme this year is “End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics.”
Perhaps with new medications and guidelines, we will finally see such a result.
World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988. Each year on Dec. 1, organizations and individuals across the world bring attention to the HIV epidemic, endeavor to increase HIV awareness and knowledge, speak out against HIV stigma and call for an increased response to move toward an end to HIV/AIDS.
The continuing global COVID-19 pandemic has shown that no one is safe until everyone is safe. Those living with HIV are even more challenged during these times – so it’s important to remember when you’re wearing a mask during the current COVID pandemic, you’re wearing it for yourself and the many immune-compromised individuals out there who are at higher risk for health challenges.
The list below includes various some of the ways the community can remember those lost and bring awareness to the cause of ending HIV/AIDS.
RAIN World AIDS Day Luncheon
Dec. 2, 11:30 or 12:30 -2 p.m. (subject to change)
Charlotte Marriott City Center
100 West Trade St., Charlotte, N.C.
RAIN is moving forward with their World AIDS Day Luncheon in person. COVID precautions for the event will likely include a vaccine requirement for all guests, volunteers and patrons. The organization plans to continue monitoring regulations and recommendations on large event gatherings from local, state and national officials and adjust plans accordingly.
House of Mercy’s Virtual World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day raises AIDS awareness to support those living with and affected by HIV. Join House of Mercy for their virtual World AIDS Day reception on Wednesday, Dec. 1 to remember House of Mercy residents from 1991-2021, and to honor those affected by HIV/AIDS and the allies who support them. Times and virtual events to be announced. Visit their website for updated details. https://www.thehouseofmercy.org/news-events
World AIDS Day Testing at Affinity Health Center
Dec. 1, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
455 Lakeshore Parkway, Rock Hill, S.C.
Walk-in testing is available for those seeking to know their status. Mail in (self-test, home test) HIV testing available. (*Screen by phone)
Extended Testing Hours for World AIDS Day at Piedmont Care
Dec. 1, 8:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
101 N. Pine St., Suite 200
Spartanburg Piedmont Care will be extending their hours of operation to give the community extra time to get tested. Walk-ins are welcome.
World AIDS Day 2021
A National Conversation
National AIDS Memorial
Dec. 1, 9 a.m.
The National AIDS Memorial will deliver its annual World AIDS Day National Observance to the nation through a virtual forum, bringing together powerful voices from the AIDS movement for an inspiring series of conversations focused on health and social justice, particularly among communities of color. Join us for a series of conversations presented throughout the day. Choose to participate online with the discussions you choose to watch or watch at your convenience, as all the discussions that are part of the conversation series will remain on our website.
Some of our confirmed speakers and guests include:
Dr. Anthony Fauci
U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock
Monica Gandhi, M.D., Professor of Medicine and HIV Division, University of California, San Francisco
Paul Kawata, Exec. Dir., National Minority AIDS Council.
Toni Newman, Interim CEO, Black AIDS Institute
Leonard Valentino, M.D., President & CEO, National Hemophilia Foundation
Suzanne Brennan Firstenburg, Curator, COVID-19 National Mall Installation
The forum is presented virtually and can be watched anytime from the organization’s website Dec. 1, 2021. For more details, visit www.aidsmemorial.org/wad2021