Lauren Slade | Grants and Foundations Manager
It’s a common misconception that HIV/AIDS is no longer a global crisis. In the United States alone, there are over 1.1 million individuals living with HIV. Plus, the rate of infections in Black and Latinx communities is on the rise. This is due to things like poverty, stigma, and lack of awareness.
Since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, Black and Latinx communities have been hit particularly hard by the disease. This is due to a lot of things, like lack of sex ed or the belief that HIV is a “gay” disease. Also, Black and Latinx individuals are more likely to be living in poverty and not have insurance. This means that they are less likely to be able to get tested for HIV or afford medical treatment. Plus, the stigma that comes with a positive diagnosis often means that many people won’t get tested and remain unaware of their status. Additionally, a lot of times even if people do get tested they can withhold their status from partners. This is an especially large problem Dallas, which is ranked #2 on the list of Texas Counties with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS.
So what is being done to spread awareness about HIV?
World AIDS Day & Red Ribbon
Initiated in 1988, World AIDS Day happens every year on December 1st. It’s a chance for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. World AIDS Day asks us to support and empower all people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Ultimately, World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a huge need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education.
In commemoration of World AIDS Day, Resource Center holds its annual Red Ribbon fundraiser, which provides the community an opportunity to kick off the holidays while coming together for a cause. For over 37 years, Resource Center has served the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQIA+) community as well as all people affected by HIV/AIDS. All proceeds from the Red Ribbon support the Center’s services and programs.
What Can I Do?
The Center will host a reimagined Virtual Red Ribbon Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday December 2, 2020 from 6:30-7:30 P.M. The event will be followed by a safe, drive-thru celebration at the Community Center. We invite you to come admire the red lights while sharing some fellowship. Presented by Gilead and in collaboration with the Turtle Creek Chorale, this year’s Red Ribbon aims to raise funds, awareness, and holiday spirit. We truly appreciate all of the promotion and support that you can provide!