The decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled. The UNAIDS Prevention gap report shows that worldwide an estimated 1.9 million adults have become infected with HIV every year for at least the past five years and that the number of new HIV infections is rising in some regions. The report shows that HIV prevention efforts must be reinvigorated if the world is to stay on the Fast-Track to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
To re-focus attention on the continuing AIDS pandemic, World AIDS Day has been recognized every Dec. 1 for decades. This year, Salt Lake organizations are continuing their events as well.
Stan Penfold, executive director of the Utah AIDS Foundation said, “World AIDS Day is a time to come together as a community to encourage people to get tested for HIV, share resources for prevention and support those who are HIV positive. We encourage all Utah residents to engage with us at our seminars, stick-it-to-stigma rally, reception or film screenings or simply show your support by wearing a red ribbon. While we have so much to celebrate and have made great strides on the research front, we still need to be vigilant against discrimination and harmful stigmas that ostracize people with HIV and AIDS.”
While according to the Utah AIDS Foundation HIV incidence rates in the state of Utah are lower than the national rate, Salt Lake County’s incident rate has risen over the last five years, according to the Center for Disease Control. Because many people believe that HIV is not a problem in Utah or that it doesn’t affect them, they are not tested and, according to the Utah Department of Health, only 22 percent of the adult population have ever been tested for HIV. In 2014 in Utah, one in five of all newly diagnosed individuals had already progressed to AIDS at the time of diagnosis. This number increases to nearly half among the Hispanic population. Unfortunately, this means that many people living with HIV or AIDS are not aware of their status. With early detection HIV has treatment options that allow people to live healthy lives without risk of transmitting the disease to others.
Salt Lake City and County Building
The mayor’s office has confirmed that Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the Salt Lake City Council will issue a joint resolution in honor of World AIDS Day. The City and County Building will also be lit in red.
RENT Sing-Along and other free film screenings
The Utah Film Center hosts a special “sing-a-long” screening of the film version of RENT, the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about a group of Bohemians in New York City and their struggles with sexuality, drugs, paying their rent, and life in the shadow of AIDS. Based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème and featuring six of the original Broadway cast members.
The sing-along is from 3 to 5:15 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E Fourth South.
Additional World AIDS Day free film screenings
6pm: Blood Brother – Free film screening for World AIDS Day
8:30pm: Remembering the Man – Free film screening for World AIDS Day
Presented in partnership with Utah AIDS Foundation as part of World AIDS Day. To learn more about all of the World AIDS Day events including addition free films, free testing, and remembrance programs in Salt Lake City visit World AIDS Day 2016 – Salt Lake City.
Also at the Salt Lake City Library
- HIV Testing & Counseling – at the City Library, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Education Series – HIV cure research and PrEP HIV prevention – at City Library, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Be PrEPAred: What is HIV Pre Exposure Prophylaxis and is it right for me?- Led by Benjamin Holdaway, HIV Prevention Lead for the Utah AIDS Foundation
- Beyond ART: Strategies to Cure HIV led by Dr. Adam Spivak from the University of Utah Infectious Disease Clinic
- Read My Lips: Kiss In and Stick it to Stigma Rally – starting at City Creek ending at City Library, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Annual Red Party
The Utah AIDS Foundation will hold the 12th annual Red Party, this year at The Rest at Bodega, 331 S Main St from 6 to 8 p.m.
All proceeds benefit the Utah AIDS Foundation. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be available to “celebrate the progress that we have made, and the hope for the future,” say event organizers. A raffle will also be held. The $45 entrance will get you a cocktail and one chance to win. $65 will get two cocktails and three chances to win, and the VIP $100 will get a champagne welcome, two cocktails, premium parking and four raffle chances.
Westminster College Annual Little Black Dress Soiree
Held by the Greater Salt Lake Alumnae, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the annual Little Black Dress Soiree focuses on women networking, empowering, uplifting, and encouraging one another. They have different charities this year, and this year they chose to the Utah AIDS Foundation-Women’s Support Group in celebration of December 1st being World AIDS Day.
They will also be donating items to the UAF Pantry.
Bring an item to swap and your business card to share.
The event takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Westminster College Richer Alcove Building, 1840 S 1300 East.
Info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Utah Fine Arts Museum Day Without Art
Though the museum is closed for renovations, they will be observing “Day With(out) Art” on December 1 by covering their huge outdoor sculpture, Rex by Deborah Butterfield.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts joins thousands of other arts institutions to reflect upon the ongoing effects of AIDS on the art world and our society. Deborah Butterfield’s Rex, placed in 2002, is UMFA’s iconic bronze outdoor sculpture, will be covered in recognition of Day With(out) Art.
Weber State University
Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, will be doing free testing in the Shepherd Student Union from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., provided by the Weber Morgan Health Department. There will be a panel discussion titled First Person: Living with HIV/AIDS in the Wildcat Theater of the Shepherd Student Union from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. and finally a screening of The Normal Heart at 2:30 p.m. in the Wildcat Theater.