Delaware Public Media

Rehoboth candlelight walk and service highlight World AIDS Day in First State

Nov 29, 2018

Saturday is the 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day. And the First State will mark the occasion.

 


World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS and raise awareness of the continuing epidemic around the globe and here in Delaware.

This year’ theme is “Know Your Status.”

Sal Seeley is the health and wellness program coordinator for CAMP (Create A More Positive) Rehoboth.

He says in Rehoboth Beach, World Aids Day will be observed with a Candlelight Walk and a Service of Remembrance and Hope.

“Well what it means for us is, part of the reason we’re doing this is to remember all those we lost. But also it’s to remember the progress that’s been made since the first World Aids Day in 1988. We want to make sure people remember that HIV is still out there and people are still getting infected,” said Seeley.

Seeley notes there are currently 3,520 Delawareans living with HIV/AIDS. He says New Castle County has the largest number of cases - with the majority of them in Wilmington. 40% of people living with stage 3 HIV in New Castle County are Wilmington residents.

 

He says groups like CAMP Rehoboth are using the day to educate people about the ongoing battle against HIV/AIDS.

“We offer lots of programming for people living with HIV. But most importantly, we not only offer HIV testing in Rehoboth, but also now offer the testing in Laurel and Seaford as well. Because what we want to do is make sure people are getting tested, so they are aware of their HIV status,” Seeley said.

 

He says the number of people not getting tested is astonishing.

Seeley says among new HIV infections diagnosed in Delaware in 2015 the largest proportion were men who have sex with men, heterosexual transmission and injection drug use.

Here are the schedule of events iun Rehoboth Beach for Saturday, December 1, 2018:

  • 6:15-6:30 PM Pre-Walk gathering and candle lighting at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, Rehoboth Avenue at the Boardwalk
  • 6:30 PM Candlelight Walk begins at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand and proceeds down Rehoboth Avenue, ending at All Saints' Church, 18 Olive Avenue in Rehoboth Beach
  • 7:00 PM Service of Remembrance and Hope—including the reading of the names at All Saints' Church, 18 Olive Avenue in Rehoboth Beach
  • 7:45 PM Light supper at All Saints' Episcopal Church