Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission on Tuesday proclaimed December 1st as World AIDS Day.
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, the American Association for World Health, and the World Health Organization observe December 1st of each year as World AIDS Day, this year marking its 33rd anniversary.
On that day, the community remembers the somber impact of AIDS with a candlelight march and a ceremony. The march begins at 4:30 in front of City Hall and proceeds to the Edward B. Knight Pier, where the ceremony is held.
Scott Pridgen, Executive Director of AH Monroe, accepted the proclamation.
“We do not have a cure,” he said. “We do not have a vaccine. But one day we will, and we continue that fight.”
The CDC estimates that there are 1.2 million people in the United States alone infected with HIV and that as many as one hundred and eighty thousand do not know that they are infected with the AIDS virus.
World AIDS Day provides an opportunity to think globally and act locally by focusing attention on the need for individual and collective involvement in the care of those living with AIDS and the prevention of new HIV infections.
HIV/AIDS remains a highly stigmatized condition, where cultural and ethnic disparities exist and persist in growing numbers because fear and discrimination of that stigma may prevent many from seeking treatment, or from disclosing their zero status.
“Discrimination of any kind,” reads the proclamation, “including that pertaining to a person's medical status should not be tolerated in the city of Key West, Florida where we strive to live as
One Human Family.”
In the photo: Commissioners Gregory Davila, Jimmy Weekley, and Mary Lou Hoover, AH Monroe volunteer Stephen Aube, Mayor Teri Johnston, AH Monroe Executive Director Scott Pridgen, Monroe County Health Department Director Bob Eadie, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, AH’s Charlie Wynott, Commissioner Clayton Lopez, Cyna Wright, and Commissioner Billy Wardlow.