WAUKEGAN – Each year on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day is commemorated.
This day of awareness is a time to reflect on and celebrate the global progress in the HIV/AIDS journey, recognize the challenges remaining and honor the lives lost. On this day, people renew their commitment to support the well-being of those with HIV, as well as those at risk for infection.
Join the Lake County Stands Against Stigma Coalition for a free event from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Waukegan Park District, 412 S. Lewis Ave., Waukegan.
The event will feature a candle-lighting ceremony, songs performed by Pascale Trouillot with accompaniment by Ken McMullen and a drag performance by Lola Madison. Attendees will learn about the Illinois Getting to Zero initiative, which aims to see zero new HIV infections in Illinois and zero people living with HIV who are not on treatment by 2030. Attendees also will learn about ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic with an emphasis on HIV testing, increasing access to pre-exposure prophylaxis medications and highlighting the importance of viral suppression.
The U.S. government’s theme for World AIDS Day 2023 is “Remember and Commit” and pays tribute to the lives lost to HIV/AIDS. The theme also emphasizes the collective responsibility to improve access to care. The Lake County Health Department’s Sexually Transmitted Infections program, also known as Need2Know Lake County, works with clients and community members on HIV prevention with services including HIV testing, PrEP, treatment and care.
All are encouraged to attend and wear a red ribbon to show their support and stand against HIV stigma and discrimination.
To RSVP or for more information, call the Health Department’s Need2Know program at 847-377-8450.