LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A gathering will be held Saturday in Lincoln Heights to commemorate World AIDS Day, while other events will take place in Hollywood and Westwood.
The 25th annual “Noche de Las Memorias” will begin at 5 p.m. at the Las Memorias AIDS Monument in Lincoln Park. The commemoration will include an inspirational program with music, community testimonies, remembrance and prayer.
A three-hour loop screening of “Alternate Endings, Activist Risings: A Day with(out) Art” commemorating the work of artists who lived or are living with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS activist movement will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will host a World AIDS Day commemoration event from 7-10 p.m. at the Hollywood nightclub, Boulevard 3, featuring an all-female lineup of entertainers hosted by Rocsi Diaz with musical performances by Monica and Chesca and DJ-ing by Carisma.
A fundraiser with cocktails, dancing and a freestyle dance battle benefiting amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will begin at 8:30 p.m. at Bardot at Avalon in Hollywood. The event will feature performances by Jussie Smollett, AlunaGeorge, Lion Babe and music by DJ Mike Taylor.
The party is part of the amfAR generationCURE event series, led by young professionals.
A record 36.9 million people worldwide were living with the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS in 2017, according to UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, whose figures date back to 2000. The previous record was 36.3 million in 2016.
There were 1.8 million new HIV infections diagnosed in 2017, down from 1.9 million in 2016, and 940,000 AIDS-related deaths, down from 990,900 in 2017.
There were 21.7 million people accessing antiretrovial therapy in 2017, topping the previous record of 19.4 million in 2016.
In his World AIDS Day proclamation, President Donald Trump declared, “For more than three decades, our nation and the world have confronted the challenges posed by the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Today, thanks to lifesaving medications, an HIV/AIDS diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence. On World AIDS Day, we remember the 35 million lives that have sadly been cut short by this terrible disease, and we renew our pledge to stand with those living with it until it is eliminated from our communities.
“Medical advancements and procedures have transformed HIV from a disease that meant nearly certain death into a generally manageable, chronic condition. Antiretroviral drugs and therapies help control the virus so that people with HIV can experience healthy and productive lives with reduced risk of transmitting it to others.
“With these long-sought solutions now at our disposal, we have the ability to help alleviate the pain and needless suffering of our fellow Americans living with HIV, their family and friends, and the millions of others around the world living with this disease.
“Our efforts to connect those affected by this disease with high-quality healthcare are dramatically improving many lives. The 2017 National HIV/AIDS Strategy progress report indicates a significant increase of Americans living with HIV. These people are now able to suppress the virus with medication.\
“But we cannot rest on this progress. In recent years, opioids and other injected drugs have caused HIV outbreaks in communities rarely affected before the outbreak of the epidemic. We must continue to work to eliminate the stigma that surrounds HIV so that no one is afraid to learn their HIV status, treat their condition if HIV infected and prevent infection if they are at risk.”
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