Today is World Aids Day. According to UNAIDS, over 33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide. Last year alone, there were about 2.6 million new infections worldwide. More than 14,000 people in Dallas County are living with HIV, and last year nearly 900 news cases were diagnosed. The good news is new HIV infections are being reduced yearly through prevention. We need to educate and learn from others so we can keep working towards an end to AIDS.
Here are some events going on throughout the day. I encourage everyone to participate.
Dallas County is offering free HIV screenings to residents. Screenings will be from 9am-4pm at the headquarters building (2377 N. Stemmons Freeway) and also from 10am-4pm at it’s mobile medical clinic, which will be parked at the Big T Plaza (4515 Village Fair Dr, Dallas). You can also get a free screening at the AIDS Outreach Center, Nelson Tebedo Clinic, and Tarrant County Public Health Department.*
After your HIV screening, head over to Sprinkles Cupcakes. They are doing their first ever World Aids Day Promotion from 9am-7pm, with 100% of the proceeds from the red velvet cupcakes sold will be donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Sprinkles is located in Preston Center at Preston and Northwest Highway.
Clients and staff of AIDS Interfaith Network will offer a program of remembrance, music, and celebration in the Daire Center at 11 a.m. Staff and volunteers will serve the clients lunch. After lunch, AIN will hold a candlelight memorial in their lobby.
P.R.I.S.M. (Promoting Respect In Sexual Minorities), the gay-straight alliance for Navarro College, will hold activities intended to help build awareness of HIV/AIDS in the community starting at 6pm. Refreshments will be provided. AIDS Arms will also provide free HIV testing Thursday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Gooch Student Center. Testing is open to the public and will also have an information table and people to answer any questions you may have. (The program will be held in the Gooch Student Center, Arrowhead Room, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave. in Corsicana)
In Denton, a World AIDS Day commemoration will be held on the square from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The event includes a candlelight vigil, tree dedication, poetry reading, speakers, information tables and free hot chocolate.
If you can’t make it to any events, spread the word and Do something to raise public awareness, and hopefully breakdown some of the unwarranted stigma that surrounds HIV.
*AIDS Outreach Center is located at 400 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, 817-335-1994. Nelson Tebedo Clinic is located at 4012 Cedar Springs Road, 214-528-2336. Tarrant County Public Health Department is located at 1101 S. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-321-4700.