POZlife

POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

Final Preps Underway For World AIDS Day

Posted by pozlife on November 27, 2007

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by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: November 26, 2007 – 5:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) On December 1 communities across the globe will observe World AIDS Day with memorials to concerts.

An estimated 40 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS.

In South Africa, the country with the largest number of people with HIV/AIDS, an international concert will be held in Johannesburg. It is the fifth in a series of annual concerts that Nelson Mandela has used to raise awareness about AIDS.

The concert, expected to attract 30-35 international and local artists and draw a crowd of over 50,000 people. Among those participating will be U2, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Beyonce, Bob Geldof and Angelique Kidjo.

The funds raised through the concerts are used to create awareness of the AIDS pandemic among young people.

An estimated 5.4 million South Africans are infected with the AIDS virus.

In San Francisco, where the first AIDS patient was diagnosed in 1980, a special service will be held at the National AIDS Memorial.

The Memorial was conceived in 1989 by a small group of San Franciscans who had lost loved ones to AIDS.

Development of the Memorial in Golden Gate Park began in 1991. The site was designated a national memorial by act of Congress in 1996.

The Memorial is a seven-acre wooded basin historically known as de Laveaga Dell. Its gathering areas are constructed of stone and wood.

The keynote speaker this year will be Charles King, president of New York’s Housing Works, the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the U.S. It provides a full range of services including housing, health care, mental health services, chemical dependency services, legal advocacy, and job training and placement for homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.

An award will be presented to Ruth Brinker, founder of San Francisco’s Project Open Hand, the country’s first food service organization for people living with AIDS.

In 1985, Brinker started making dinner in her own kitchen for seven neighbors with AIDS. Demand for her meals grew, and with volunteer help, Brinker started Project Open Hand.

Today it feeds over 6,000 people a year in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control said that gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a "superbug" version resistant to common antibiotics. The CDC also said that Syphilis is rising, too. (story)

The increase in incidences of STDs is considered an indication people are increasing having unprotected sex – a precursor to rising HIV cases.

For one state that concern became all to apparent this week when Florida’s Health Department issued a new report showing one in every 22 gay and bi men across the state is HIV-positive, and in South Florida the rate is much higher. (story)

In Broward County, which encompasses Fort Lauderdale, one in every 11 gay white men is estimated to be positive. For gay Black men the rate it is 1 in 17. The results were similar for Dade County, which includes Miami and South Beach, and for Palm Beach County.

LGBT activists said the report shows education methods are not working. They called for a new look at how to reach gay and bi men.

They also said that many gay men have hit HIV information overload, becoming complacent in the wake of new drugs that give people with HIV a near normal life span.

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