It's almost World AIDS Day!
Here's are a few important events going on in Chicago to honor the occasion.
First, the basics: This Saturday is World AIDS Day, observed every year on December 1.
World AIDS Day is an opportunity to celebrate the gains made in ending the epidemic, embrace those living with HIV/AIDS and commemorate those who have died of AIDS throughout the years.
It’s also an occasion for HIV testing, advocacy, education and celebration.
(It's also a great time to support AFC's network of lifesaving HIV services, by donating today.)
If you’re in the Chicago area, consider attending these World AIDS Day events.
White House World AIDS Day Commemoration Event
OK, this event is actually in Washington, D.C. But you can go online and see Chicago's own David Ernesto Munar, president/CEO for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, speak on a World AIDS Day panel at the White House.
The discussion is slated for 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. CST and it will be livestreamed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Other panelists include Michael Saag, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama; Ayana Elliot, family nurse practitioner; and Stephanie Brown, youth living with HIV. The discussion will be moderated by actor Rosie Perez, who serves on the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
World of Chocolate
This is Chicago's most sumptuous World AIDS Day event. World of Chocolate is a gala benefit for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. The event is a celebration of possibilities, in both the confectionary kitchen and the arena of global health.
Join us on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Hilton Chicago’s International Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan Ave. Tickets are available for $150 at the door.
Free HIV Testing on the Loop
AFC will offer free confidential HIV testing on Friday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 200 W. Jackson, on the 13th floor.
For more information on other testing locations in Chicago, please visit the CDPH website.
IDPH Hosts HIV Health Fair on South Side
The Illinois Department of Public Health is sponsoring a World AIDS Day health fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
Activities include HIV testing, expert panel discussions and a screening of the documentary “Endgame.”
The health fair will be held at the ICE Chatham Theater, 210 W. 87th St.
CDPH Releases Gay/Bi Men Health Report
The Chicago Department of Public Health will present its recent report, “HIV Risk and Prevention Behaviors Among MSM in Chicago, 2008-2011.” This report highlights important behavioral trends among gay/bisexual men in Chicago between 2008 and 2011 including findings that show increased rates of HIV testing, fewer gay/bi men unaware of their HIV infection and evidence of better linkage to care outcomes.
City officials will discuss the report and answer questions on Friday, Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m., at the Hoover-Leppen Theater, Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted Street.
Art for HIV Action
Artists Erin Suarez-Bitar and Timothy Longwith will showcase and auction their art to raise money in the fight against AIDS. Their artwork will be on display at Leona’s Restaurant, 1936 W. Augusta Blvd., from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.
All proceeds benefit LetsStopAIDS, the largest youth-driven Canadian charity that focuses on HIV prevention and knowledge exchange by engaging youth and fostering leadership. For more information, contact Shamin Mohamed Jr. at
Center on Halsted Hosts World AIDS Day Celebration
John Peller, AFC’s vice president of policy, will speak — at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Center on Halsted — about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on people living with HIV.
That discussion is part of a celebration of progress made in ending AIDS, to be held at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit the Center on Halsted website.