By Bill Redmond-Palmer

The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day on December 1 in the United States is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.” The World AIDS Campaign’s Global Steering Committee’s theme is “Getting to Zero,” for annual observances from 2011 to 2015.

World AIDS Day provides powerful opportunities to raise awareness, to honor and remember those who have passed on, and to celebrate achievements such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with HIV. Maryland and the Baltimore-Towson area have some of the highest rates of HIV infections in the country, ranking fifth in the nation for HIV infections; infection rates continue to increase; and it is estimated that at least 1,200 more people are infected each year. Currently over 12,000 Baltimore City residents live with HIV, making World AIDS Day as relevant today as ever.

  • On Saturday, November 29, the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church presents their 3rd Annual World AIDS Day Testing for Turkeys event from 10 am to 2 pm. Free HIV testing and free health care stations. 2812 Reisterstown Road, 21215. For more information visit www.mtlebanonbaptist.org or call Gail Graham at (410) 669-1800.
  • On Sunday, November 30, Speak To My Heart Ministries located at 3319 W. Belvedere Avenue, 21215, will host their Annual World AIDS Day Service beginning at 10 am with guest speakers from OWEL and free HIV Testing by the Baltimore City Health Department. For more information contact Robbin Alexander at (410) 601-4168.
  • Also on Sunday, November 30, the Salem United Methodist Church presents Dia Mundial del SIDA – Llegando a O! from 4 to 6 pm, at 3405 Gough Street, 21224. For more information contact Alfredo Santiago at (410) 262-0817.

The events planned for December 1 in Baltimore City include something to suit a variety of schedules and interests. All of these events are free and open to the public.

  • Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc., the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, the Center for AIDS Research, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures, and the Baltimore City Day at the Market invite the public to “deepsouth” World AIDS Day Test-A-Thon at the Northeast Market, 2101 E. Monument Street, 21205 from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information contact James Wilson at (410) 276-8969.
  • Join B’more Aware of HIV to help attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Living Red Ribbon at Morgan State University from 10 am to 1 pm. The event includes a Get S.M.A.R.T Health Fair and Free HIV Testing. You MUST arrive by 11 am to be part of the Living Red Ribbon. Visit the B’More Aware of HIV” Facebook event page or call (410) 327-3420, ext. 11 for more information on the event’s schedule, speakers and parking. B’More Aware of HIV is sponsored by groups including Moveable Feast, the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University, HopeSprings, Chase Brexton Health Services, AIRS (AIDS Interfaith Residential Services), the Baltimore City Health Department, University of Maryland Medical School’s “Preparing the Future” Program, Johns Hopkins University’s “Generation Tomorrow” Program and the Morgan Community Mile.
  • Between 12 and 3:30 pm, on the first floor of the SMC Campus Center at 621 W. Lombard Street, the University of Maryland will host a World AIDS Day Resource & Involvement fair. The fair will include information on HIV/AIDS, linkage to service and ways to get involved.
  • From 4 to 6 pm, Celebration of Community will host a reading of the “Book of Life”, a compilation of names of people lost to HIV/AIDS collected over more than eighteen years, music and remembrances of people who have passed in the past year, at the Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 10 E. Mt. Vernon Place, across from the Washington Monument. Anyone wishing to read names from the book, and share names of their own may do so. Short biographies of individuals who have passed since December 1st 2013 to be shared during the program are requested. To submit biographies, or for more information contact (443) 421-9090, celebrationofcommunity@gmail.com, or visit the Facebook event page.
  • At 6:30 pm, there will be a Celebration of Community World AIDS Day Service and Vigilto honor both those living and those who have died with HIV/AIDS, at the Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 10 E. Mt. Vernon Place across from the Washington Monument. A reception will follow. For more information contact (443) 421-9090, celebrationofcommunity@gmail.com, or visit the Facebook event page.
  • Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc. and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will host a showing of the documentary “deepsouth” and a panel discussion in Sheldon Hall, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room W1214, 21205 from 5 to 9 pm. For more information contact James Wilson at (410) 276-8969.
  • The Tau Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. present “Sex Ed: Youth, Sex, and HIV” beginning at 6:30 pm at the American Brewery Building, 2nd floor, 1701 North Gay Street, 21213. The program features a theatrical performance by Radience Pittman, free confidential HIV testing, radio personalities from the 92Q street team, light refreshments, and even service learning hour credits for students attending with appropriate documentation. For more information, contact La’Shelle Tatum at ltatum@zphib-thz.org.
  • The Center for AIDS Research, Generation Tomorrow, the JHU AIDS Education and Training Center, Source and other committed partners are hosting “HIV is Part of Our Story” at Atwater’s Café, 855 N. Wolfe Street (at the corner of Ashland and Wolfe) from 6 to 8 pm, with free HIV testing on site. RSVP at tinyurl.com/partofourstory. If you know someone who wants to share a 2-minute story related to HIV, email us at Generation.Tomorrow.CFAR@gmail.com. For more information contact Ayesha McAdams-Mahmoud at amcadam4@jhmi.edu.
  • Monday, December 1 through Friday, December 5, from 9 am to 4 pm, Chase Brexton Health Services of Mt. Vernon will offer free HIV/STI counseling and testing services at 1111 North Charles St., 21201. For more information contact Emily Stiles at (410) 837-2050 ext. 1459.
  • Registration for the 2015 RIDE FOR THE FEAST to be held on May 2-3, 2015, goes live on December 1. The annual bike ride from Ocean City to Baltimore benefits Moveable Feast. Register to help save lives one mile at a time, at www.rideforthefeast.org. Additionally, there will be a Ride for the Feast kick-off party that night, at The Crown, 1910 N. Charles St., Baltimore, from 6 to 11 pm

All of the following events in Central Maryland outside of Baltimore City are free and open to the public.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

  • On Monday, December 1, the Anne Arundel County World AIDS Day Committee, the Anne Arundel County Health Department, and other community partners will join together to observe World AIDS Day at the Fresh Start Church, 506 Lincoln Drive, Glen Burnie, 21060, beginning at 7 pm. The program, entitled, “Living Hope,” will feature poetry, music, mime and art, and much, much more. For more information contact Joann Davis at (410) 279-5946 or the Fresh Start Church at (410) 360-4207.

BALTIMORE COUNTY

  • The Rising Sun Baptist Church invites you to worship with them at their World AIDS Day observance on Sunday, November 30, at 11 am. 2211 Saint Luke’s Lane, Baltimore, 21207. For more information contact info@risingsunfirstbaptistchurch.org or (410) 944-4470.
  • Monday December 1 through Friday December 5, from 9 am to 4 pm, Chase Brexton Health Services of Randallstown will offer free HIV/STI counseling and testing services at 3510 Brenbrook Drive, Randallstown, 21133. For more information contact Emily Stiles at (410) 837-2050 ext. 1459.
  • The Baltimore County Health Department will offer free HIV testing at several sites. For more information on any of the following testing dates and sites contact (410) 887-2437: December 1 from 4 to 7 pm, and December 3 from 9 am to noon at the Towson Health Center 1046 Taylor Ave., Towson, 21286.December 1 from 8 am to 3 pm at Walgreens, 10410 York Road, Cockeysville, 21030.December 2 from 4:30 pm to 7 pm at the Woodlawn Health Center, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, Baltimore, 21207.December 4 from 2 pm to 7 pm at the Essex Health Center, 201 Back River Neck Road, 21221.

HARFORD COUNTY

  • Monday, December 1, the Harford County Health Department will offer free anonymous or confidential walk in HIV/STI testing from 9 am to 2 pm at 1 North Main Street, Bel Air, 21014. For more information contact Cindy Dawson, RN, (410) 638-3060, (410) 879-0205 ext. 3025, or cindy.dawson@maryland.gov.

HOWARD COUNTY

  • Monday, December 1, through Friday, December 5, from 9 am to 4 pm, Chase Brexton Health Services of Columbia will offer free HIV/STI counseling and testing services at 5500 Knoll North Drive, Suite 370, Columbia, 21045. For more information contact Emily Stiles at (410) 837-2050 ext. 1459.

Bill Redmond-Palmer is a long time community organizer and advocate for HIV/AIDS and sexual and gender minority related issues.

Gay Life December 2014

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