World AIDS Day, which has been celebrated around the world as a way to raise awareness about the disease and its continuing impact, will be observed Wednesday in Los Angeles with a free concert at The Forum by The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and a ceremony at The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Monument.
The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Monument was built in 2004. It has been visited by more than 360 people who have died from AIDS-related complications. The monument’s expanded footprint will be revealed, along with new artwork, and the names of more than 1000 people who have lost their battle against HIV.
Richard Zaldivar (TWLM founder), Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles City Councilman) and Hilda Solis (County Board of Supervisors Chair) are all expected to attend the ceremony. Organisers said that they hoped Mayor Eric Garcetti will also be there. On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office stated that it was still finalizing its schedule.
The ceremony at 3600 N. Mission Road will feature performances by Juan Pablo di Pace, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
Randy Rainbow, comedian, will host the sold out concert by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation at 8. I-Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be presented with AHF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Jane Sanders, his wife, will accept the award.
World AIDS Day, which was first established in 1988, is an international day to promote global health. It is observed worldwide every December 1st to raise awareness and honor those who have lost their battle with AIDS.
The theme for this year is “End inequities. End AIDS and End Pandemics.”
“Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiraling social and economic crisis,”On its website, the Joint United Nations Programme On HIV and AIDS (JUNPHIV and AIDS) stated.
UNAIDS released a report before World AIDS Day, warning that 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths could occur if leaders fail to address inequalities. UNAIDS stated that COVID-19 had impeded efforts to eradicate AIDS in some parts of the world. HIV testing has declined and people have started treatment in 40 of 50 countries.
“It is still possible to end the epidemic by 2030,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his World AIDS Day message. “However, this will require greater solidarity and a more aggressive approach. Collective action is necessary to defeat AIDS, and build resilience against future pandemics.
This year’s World AIDS Day falls amid two important anniversaries. The 40th anniversary of U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s first recognition of AIDS as a virus in June 1981, and the 35th anniversary of the founding of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
During the Forum’s free concert, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will acknowledge the progress in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. 33 million people have died since the first reported cases were reported 40 years ago.
AHF claims that HIV is currently affecting more than 38,000,000 people worldwide.