World AIDS Day stays low key in D-FW this year

Posted on 25 Oct 2009 at 6:34pm
By David Taffet | Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

Tight budgets affect World AIDS Day commemorations in North Texas, AIDS organization heads say

"We can’t afford World AIDS Day and neither can you," said Resource Center Dallas associate executive director, health and medical services Bret Camp, explaining why a consortium of local AIDS service providers had chosen not to hold a large event this year as it has in years past.

Bryan’s House executive director David Thomas, who also chairs the North Texas HIV Service Providers Council that includes 11 AIDS service providers in Dallas County, said World AIDS Day commemorations here will instead stay low key.

"There will be a moment of silence and we will light a candle in each of the agencies," Thomas said. "We’ll post on our Web sites and Facebook pages the same candle picture. In this difficult year, we’re spending all money on services."

A press release for the council said, "Please join us all in spirit by lighting a candle of remembrance and hopeon Dec. 1."

Although no big events are planned in Dallas, smaller memorials and commemorations will take place.

• In Fort Worth, nine Tarrant County AIDS service providers will hold a carnival, health fair and memorial at Tarrant County Public Health, 1101 S. Main St.

Free HIV testing will be offered. Information on prevention, treatment and care for persons living with HIV/AIDS will be available in addition to snacks and carnival game booths with prizes from 2 to 6 p.m. At 5 p.m., the Rev. Carol West and the Rev. Curtis Smith will conduct a memorial service.

Smaller events will occur around Dallas and Collin counties.

• Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage is presenting a World AIDS Day empowerment program for women.

The educational evening is designed for both HIV-positive and -negative women. The goal is to give them information and empower them to go back to their own churches and other groups to start discussions about AIDS and start a grassroots effort to slow the spread of the disease.

The evening includes dinner and takes place at the Center for Community Cooperation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free with sponsorship from Abbott Laboratories but reservations are necessary. Call 214-520-6308 to reserve a space.

• AIDS Arms will have a luncheon for their clients with a speaker. Bristol Myers Squibb is underwriting the event. Clients may call the agency to reserve a space.

• A free screening of the movie "All of Us" at the Angelika Film Center on Mockingbird Lane will be followed by a panel discussion.

The presentation is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and sponsored by The Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with support from the Healthy Relationships & Youth Angle programs of UT Southwestern Medical Center. The film begins at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 and is open to the public.

• Rosemarie Odom and Roseanne Rosetti are the co-founders of CURE (Community, Unity, Respect, Education). They raise money throughout the year to bring in panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

One of the panels they currently have includes the quilt made for Resource Center Dallas’ original executive director John Thomas who died in 1997. Those panels will be on display at J.C. Penney corporate headquarters in Plano on World AIDS Day.

• Cathedral of Hope will have 13 blocks from the quilt on display from Nov. 29 until Dec. 4. On World AIDS Day, panel viewing begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by a service at 7 p.m. with a

performance by Resounding Harmony. A reception follows.

• Resource Center Dallas will observe World AIDS Day with Pepsico/Frito Lay in Plano. Several staff and clients will participate in a seminar at the corporate offices. Frito Lay has been a major supporter of the Resource Center including funding the recent relocation of the AIDS Food Pantry.

The World Health Organization declared the first World AIDS Day in 1987 to remember persons who had died of the disease.

More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, when the syndrome of diseases related to the virus was first recognized.

The most recent estimate of the number of people living with HIV is 33 million worldwide.

Every 9½ minutes, someone in the United States is newly infected with HIV.

In this country, the most common method of transmission of the disease remains sexual contact between two men according to the Center for Disease Control.

In 2007, the latest year for which the CDC has figures, 35,962 new cases of HIV were diagnosed and 14,110 people died.

The number of Texans with HIV/AIDS has increased by a third in the past five years.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 27, 2009.

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