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Delaware celebrates 29th annual World AIDS Day

Camp Rehoboth


Delaware will host several HIV and AIDS awareness events this week to mark the 29th annual World AIDS Day.


A candlelight vigil is scheduled in Rehoboth Beach Thursday evening to remember the hundreds of people in that area who have died from HIV and AIDS.

Steve Elkins is executive director of the LGBT rights organization CAMP Rehoboth -and helped organize the vigil. He said the crowd will meet at the Rehoboth bandstand at 6:15 and walk their candles to a remembrance service at All Saints Church on Olive Ave.


That’s where they’ll read the names of the nearly 500 people with a connection to that area who have died from HIV or AIDS.


“There's always this poignant moment in the service every year. We ask people, ‘if you hear the name of a person who you know or who you have had any contact with, raise a candle.’ There are times when the entire church is lit with these candles going up,” Elkins said.


Elkins said the vigil is also designed to warn young people about the dangers of HIV and AIDS.


“Younger people are sort of thinking ‘I’m invincible, I don’t have to worry about it.’ But they do have to worry about it. It’s a manageable disease but it’s not a disease someone wants to have to deal with," Elkins said. 


The vigil in Rehoboth Beach is one of three events scheduled in Delaware this week to commemorate the 29th annual World AIDS Day.


Kent County will celebrate World AIDS Day with an “anything but clothes” fashion show at Delaware State University Thursday. 


In New Castle County, Delaware Technical Community College will host a World AIDS Day Summit this Saturday with panel discussions.


There will be free HIV screenings at all of the events.