This day is an opportunity for people all over the world to come together and unite in the fight against HIV, support those that are currently living with HIV, and remember those who have lost their lives from an AIDS-related illness. World AIDS Day has been celebrated annually since 1988, and was the first ever globally-recognized health day.
World AIDS Day 2021 is important because there are currently an estimated 38 million people who are living with HIV, and over 35 million people who have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses since it was first identified in 1984. Sharing the facts about this virus and supporting those who are living with it can help end the stigma and discrimination that can surround HIV and AIDS.
This year, the Central Florida HIV Planning Council hosted two special events to remember World AIDS Day. The first event was an in-person gathering on November 30, 2021, at the Walt Disney Amphitheater in Lake Eola Park.
There were performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus, VarieTease, Ira Westbrook, the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band, and more. The event had many local organizations present to show their support and was also attended by Orange County Mayor, Jerry L. Demings.
The following day, December 1, 2021, there was a virtual event that featured a welcoming statement from Mayor Demings, recordings from the in-person event, and a discussion of the ending of the HIV epidemic.
The best thing that you can do to help in the fight against HIV and AIDS is to know your status. Even if you do not think that you are at risk, it’s important to own your sexual health and get tested. Find testing locations, like those at Harmony Healthcare Orlando, that make testing, treatments, and medical care simple and free of any judgment.
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, can greatly reduce your risk of HIV. This medication can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body.
If you have HIV, you can live a long and full life with proper treatment. It’s important that you make choices that protect others and keep you healthy.
If you couldn’t join us for World AIDS Day 2021, we are looking forward to seeing you in 2022. In the meantime, remember that we are your partners in medicine, and are here to help you access the care that you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.