Every year, World AIDS Day is observed on December 1st. It’s a day to remember the lives lost to the virus, as well as to raise awareness of new treatments and to help remove the stigma around those who are living with HIV/AIDS. For those looking to get involved and who want to help, there are events taking place around the globe (as well as online).
The small town of Beloit, Wisconsin, home to the prestigious Beloit College, will be hosting an event at the local public library at 7pm. The event, titled Pandemics: The Fight Against AIDS in America, will examine the AIDS crisis and the strides that have been made since the first cases were reported in the early 80s. The event will also be making comparisons and contrasts to America’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hosting the event will be author and National Geographic partner, Ann Bausum. Numerous Wisconsin-related patches from the AIDS Quilt will also be on display for the event and throughout the week at the library.
The popular organization, Broadway Cares, has been working to fight the AIDS crisis for decades. From fundraising events to virtual shows, and even an online store, there is an endless number of ways you can help with their fundraising efforts, all while experiencing art, music, dance, and theater. Though the organization doesn’t have a formal World AIDS Day event, their online store is always open and there are numerous videos to watch online.
The annual World AIDS Day Run will be returning to both Cork and Kerry in Ireland. Donning special shirts handed out for the run to raise awareness, runners (and walkers) can partake in 5k runs in three different park runs throughout the two communities. The goal of the runs is to help bring awareness to the ongoing HIV pandemic and to help encourage residents to get tested regularly and be more aware of their sexual health. For those who are unable to walk or run, there’s also an online community event that can be accessed as well.
Taking place in London’s Farm Street Jesuit Church, the annual Worlds AIDS Day Mass will be held. The group putting on the event, the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster, understands the importance of religious outreach to the LGBTQ community, as well as the need for there to be a safe and welcoming space for queer people of faith. The mass’ theme will be “Equal Care – Listening to All”. The service is available for in-person attendance and will also be live-streamed.
The Australian state of Queensland will be holding candlelight vigils in Brisbane and the Gold Coast to honor the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, but also to celebrate the advancements made in HIV treatment and prevention throughout the decades. According to the Gold Coast organization’s website, the events will also be aimed at informing the community as to how HIV is transmitted, ending the stigma around those living with HIV/AIDS, and increasing access to testing and treatment, especially for those in the early stages of the disease.
The National AIDS Memorial in San Fransisco will be holding a series of events throughout the week leading up to December 1st. First up, on November 30th, The National AIDS Memorial hosts its 30th Anniversary Light in the Grove Fundraising Gala. Guests will stroll through the memorial grove, which will be decorated with lanterns and lights. The evening will be filled with artistic performances and feature presentations. The event is ticketed and raises funds to support the memorial programs.
During the morning of December 1st, the National AIDS Memorial Virtual World AIDS Day Observance will begin. This is an online event and can be viewed by anyone. Throughout the morning, speakers and panels will discuss issues involving HIV/AIDS, including a conversation with Billy Porter on the importance of his show POSE and how it was a powerful expose of life during the height of the AIDS crisis.
Then, later in the evening, the public is invited to attend the free Public Display of Lights and Reading of Names Ceremony. The ceremony begins at 5 pm in the Grove, which will be magically illuminated like never before. There will also be artistic features and musical performances. This is a free in-person event and will also be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend. In the adjacent Music Concourse, there will also be a special poetry reading.
In Toronto, check out the first annual World AIDS Day Ball being held at Artscape Daniel’s Launchpad. The ball will be a celebration of Black LGBTQ+ individuals and the ball community. The night will be filled with music, dancing, awareness, and celebration. There will also be booths provided by the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) which will be providing information on HIV, harm-reduction skills, and even passing out free condoms to help promote safe sex.