World AIDS Day 2016
By Megan Wadding, December 2016 Web Exclusive.
World AIDS Day, observed each year on Dec. 1, is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show their support for people living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate those who have lost their lives.
World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. Here are six ways the Phoenix and Tucson communities will observe this day.
Nov. 26-Dec. 10 | Red Ribbon Banner Unfurling
A red ribbon banner will be unfurled from the top of the Phoenix City Hall building to promote the Fast-Track Cities “90-90-90” Initiative, which aims to build upon, strengthen and leverage existing HIV-related programs and resources and, ultimately, end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
The Phoenix City Council voted to join the initiative Oct. 25 and also also approved the creation of a new management assistant II position to oversee this initiative and another on age-friendly cities. Phoenix is the 11th Fast-Track City in the United States.
“There does not need to be one new AIDS infection in Phoenix, it’s a public health crisis that our community can and will eradicate,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We have had tremendous success with treatment, therapies and education, but this is no time for complacency. This is a time to redouble our efforts to educate the public – without stigma -- on how HIV is spread and educate those who have contracted on how to get treatment and stay in treatment.”
Mayor Stanton has appointed Councilmembers Laura Pastor and Daniel Valenzuela to co-chair the initiative in Phoenix, which is framed around a five-element implementation plan to reach the following “90-90-90” targets: 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status; 90 percent of HIV positive people are on antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent are achieving viral suppression.
Nov. 29-Dec. 8 | The NAMES Project Foundation's AIDS Memorial Quilt Panel Display
Aunt Rita’s Foundation is sponsoring 15 sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt developed by the NAMES Project Foundation, which consist of eight panels (3’ x 6’ in size). This represents a minimum of 120 lives honored by the panels that will be displayed that day, many from Arizona.
“The NAMES Project - AIDS Memorial Quilt panels that Aunt Rita’s Foundation and Cox Communications bring annually to The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, are available this year for a week long viewing, and on display at our RED Brunch to commemorate World AIDS Day,” said Glen Spencer, Aunt Rita’s Foundation executive director. “They represent the many lives lost because of AIDS, and remind us all to double our efforts to end all suffering from this continuing epidemic.”
The Display is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at The Parsons Center for Wellness, 1101 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix. The names of the individuals who appear on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt panels will be called out Dec. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. as part of the formal World AIDS Day observance.
For more information on The NAMES Project Foundation, visit aidsquilt.org/about/the-names-project-foundation.