World AIDS Day was started in 1988 as a way to raise awareness of the disease, teach prevention, remember those lost, and appreciate the progress that has been made. On this year’s World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, Boston Medical Center will hold a free event beginning at 10 a.m. in the Menino Pavilion.
According to UNAIDS the United Nations initiative against HIV/AIDS, there are 38 million adults and 2.3 million children living with HIV, and during 2005 alone roughly 4.9 million people were newly infected. The organization has found that approximately half of all people who become infected with HIV are under 25 years old and die from AIDS within 10 years.
The BMC event will include a keynote address by Dawn Breedon, a motivational speaker who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 while pregnant with her first child. The AIDS PhotoMosaic by Face-to-Face Malawi, a project that focuses on the culture and society of Africa and its fight against HIV, will be on display, along with a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The AIDS PhotoMosaic consists of two giant panels of black-and-white and sepia-toned photographs by Ken Wong of men, women, and children in South Africa afflicted by HIV/AIDS. An informational health fair and free rapid HIV testing will be provided.
The theme of World AIDS Day is Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise, calling on governments and policy-makers around the world to step up their efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. The World AIDS Campaign will continue this theme through 2010.
On the Charles River Campus, The BU Community Service Center’s Project Hope hosts Thursday a screening of Living With Slim, a 29-minute award-winning film about Ugandan chidlren living with HIV, produced by COM associate professor Sam Kauffmann. Visit BU Today on Thursday for more information.
For more information on the BMC event, call 617-414-7059.