World AIDS Day December 1

In 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the second highest grossing movie of the year, MTV launched Yo! MTV Raps, and Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine” was a #1 single. But also in 1988, more than 20,000 people died from AIDS. In fact from 1988-1990, the numbers of AIDS deaths tripled. The world was an entirely different place 25 years ago.

December 1 was designated World AIDS Day in 1988 by the World Health Organization. And while the landscape of HIV/AIDS has changed dramatically since then, we’re still fighting the virus—from new infections to its stigma—25 years later.

There are two ways to celebrate World AIDS Day this Sunday. First, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church presents its Annual 'Tree of Life' lighting with Street Works, Nashville in Harmony and more. Beginning at 4:00 p.m. and held at 2128 11th Ave. N, there will be free HIV testing.

Afterwards, you can join local musicians and performers this Sunday at Canvas for Nashville’s World AIDS Day celebration, Artists for a World without HIV. Dedicated to the continuing efforts to educate the Nashville community about HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment, and prevention, musicians include Chris Mitchell and The Collective with Vic Sorrell, Heidi Burson, and Anna Haas. Performers include Veronika Elektronica. The event begins at 6 p.m. and Nashville CARES will be on hand providing free, confidential on-site HIV testing because in 2013, there is nothing more important than the knowledge of your status.

Can’t make it Sunday, find out where you can be tested below:

Nashville CARES (633 Thompson Lane): Nashville CARES HEARTLine (1-800-845-4266) is a confidential, free phone and walk-in information and referral service. Get tested at Nashville CARES Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Testing appointments are helpful but not necessary.

Street Works/Project Uno at OutCentral (1709 Church Street): Earlier this fall, Streetworks announced that it would provide free, confidential testing at OutCentral through its Project UNO programming. Testing is offered Monday-Wednesdays from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m..

Street Works also has two drop-in center located at 520 Sylvan St. and 83 University Ct, that provide testing Monday-Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m..

Planned Parenthood’s Nashville Health Center (412 Dr. D.B. Todd, Jr. Blvd.): Free HIV testing, education and referrals takes place at Planned Parenthood on a walk-in or appointment basis during all business hours. Click here for their hours.

Metro Health Department Clinics: Counseling and testing for HIV is conducted at all Metro Health Department clinic sites at no charge. Testing of contacts is confidential and there is also no charge. Click here for clinic locations.

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