Valdosta, GA – World AIDS Day is observed on December 1 each year. It is a day of solidarity for people around the world who are affected by HIV. This is a day for voices to unite by sharing experiences, remembering those lost, and standing together in the fight against HIV.
The Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District will host their annual World AIDS Day recognition event on December 1 at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts located at 527 N Patterson Street in Valdosta from 11:30AM-12:30PM. Guest speaker will be Dr. Stacy Smallwood Associate Professor of Health Policy and Community Health with Georgia Southern University.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, 36,136 people received an HIV diagnosis in the United States. The CDC estimates more than 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2021.
While great strides have been made over the four decades since the first known reported cases of AIDS, this disease remains a public health challenge. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for every community and each individual to honor the more than 32 million people who have died worldwide from AIDS-related illness.
This year marks the 35th annual World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to bridge new and effective programs and policies across different sectors around HIV/AIDS. Every year, United Nations agencies, federal agencies and societies from across the globe join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV.
The theme for South Health District’s WAD 2023 luncheon is “For the Culture.” HIV diagnoses can happen to anyone, no matter their race, age, gender identity or sexual orientation. Although modern medicine continues to advance the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the stigmas and discrimination remain. This year’s theme will focus on the stigma surrounding HIV and how that continues the cycle of misinformation and hate that can surround HIV.
“Lack of understanding keeps our culture perpetuating a cycle of racism, homophobia and transphobia, poverty, homelessness,” explained Ebony Resurreccion, HIV Prevention Coordinator. “All of that stigma has helped turn a virus into a pandemic.”
Pre-registration is encouraged for this year’s luncheon. To register visit www.southhealthdistrict.com/WAD2023.