Statewide events Friday commemorate World AIDS Day
Friday marks the 29th World AIDS Day.
The day seeks to provide an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and raise awareness of the continuing epidemic around the globe and here in Delaware
This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability and Partnerships.”
Several events are scheduled statewide. CAMP Rehoboth health and wellness program coordinator Sal Seeley outlines what’s happening in Sussex County.
“We have HIV testing all day. We have a special World Aids Day art show by artists who have portrayed HIV thru photography or paintings. Starting at 6:30, we’re gathering at the bandstand in downtown Rehoboth; we have a small program there and we have a candlelight vigil walk to All Saints Episcopal Church. And then starting at 7 o’clock we have a service of remembrance and hope,” said Seeley.
There are currently 3,500 Delawareans living with HIV/AIDS.
“That’s about 500 in Kent County, 700 in Sussex and 2,300 in New Castle County,” said Delaware Division of Public Health HIV prevention administrator Bob Vella
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates another 350 to 400 Delawareans are HIV-positive, but are not aware of it.
The Division of Public Health says those not aware pose a great risk of transmitting HIV since they may not take precautions before engaging in high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex or needle sharing. This also holds true for those aware of their infection, but not receiving medical care.
There are several sites in Delaware that offer free, rapid HIV testing. They can be found at the CDC's website.
The following events are being held to mark World AIDS Day 2017 in Delaware:
Brandywine Counseling & Community Services
World AIDS Day Event (Anything but Clothes Fashion Show)
Nov. 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center, Parlors B & C
Delaware State University
1200 N. DuPont Highway, Dover
Contact: Rebekah Nuttall, 302-504-5999, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anything But Clothes Fashion Show in recognition of World AIDS Day. Design an outfit made out of prevention messaging and risk-reduction materials such as condoms, dental dams, lube packets, female condoms, etc. Door and grand prizes of $300, $200, and $100. Free HIV testing and screenings via the COPE RV. Live DJ and free food.
Dec. 1, 2017, 6:15 p.m.
The Candlelight Walk starts at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand in downtown Rehoboth. The Service is at All Saints Church in Rehoboth at 18 Olive Ave.
Contact: Salvatore Seeley, 302-227-5620, email@example.com
Candlelight vigil and walk. Reading of the names of those we have lost to AIDS followed by a community supper. Free HIV testing will be provided from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Camp Rehoboth Community Center. The Candlelight Walk kicks off at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand at 6:15 p.m. The Service of Remembrance begins at 7:00 p.m.
NEW CASTLE COUNTY
AIDS Delaware/Brandywine Counseling and Community Services
World AIDS Day Youth and Family Forum
Dec. 2, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Delaware Technical Community College, 300 N. Orange St., Wilmington,
Contact: Frank Hawkins, 302-652-6776
Community event to raise awareness about HIV. Exhibitors and panel discussions with people living with HIV. Free testing available on-site.
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center (BGOC)
World AIDS Day Testing Event
Dec. 1, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm
604 N. Walnut Street Wilmington
Contact: Suzanne Tait, 302-472-3002
BGOC will be offering free rapid HIV testing. Free food to all who complete the test process. Random door prizes will be awarded throughout the day!