World AIDS Day, recognized worldwide as a means to raise awareness of the disease and its ongoing effects, will begin on Wednesday in Los Angeles with a free concert at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation forum and ceremony at The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Memorial in Lincoln Park.
The Wall Las Memorias AIDS Memorial was erected in 2004 and over the years has received more than 360 names of people who have died from AIDS complications. On World AIDS Day, the enlarged footprint of the monument and new works of art with the additional names of more than 1,000 HIV-infected people will be unveiled.
TWLM founder Richard Zaldivar, Los Angeles City Councilor Gil Cedillo, and district chairwoman Hilda Solis are expected to attend the ceremony, and organizers hoped that Mayor Eric Garcetti would also be attending. The mayor’s office announced Tuesday afternoon that it was still finalizing its schedule.
The 6:15 p.m. ceremony at 3600 N. Mission Road also includes performances by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and Juan Pablo di Pace.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s sold-out 8pm concert will be hosted by comedian Randy Rainbow and will feature Oscar and multi-Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson and multi-Grammy winner Christina Aguilera. The event will also honor Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, with the AHF Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is received by his wife, Jane Sanders.
World AIDS Day was established in 1988 as the first international day for global health. It is observed around the world every December 1st to raise awareness about AIDS and honor the people who died from the disease.
This year’s theme is “End inequalities. End AIDS and end pandemics ”.
“Without bold action against inequalities, there is a risk that the world will fail to meet the goals of ending AIDS by 2030, as well as an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and widening social and economic crisis,” states the United Nations Joint Program on HIV and AIDS on its website.
UNAIDS released a report ahead of World AIDS Day warning that the world could face 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths in the next decade if leaders do not address inequalities around the world approach. The organization added that the COVID-19 pandemic had undermined efforts to fight AIDS in some parts of the world, as HIV testing decreased and fewer people were one in 2020 in 40 of the 50 countries reported to UNAIDS Initiated treatment.
“It is still possible to end the epidemic by 2030,” said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his message on World AIDS Day. “However, that requires more action and more solidarity. To defeat AIDS – and build resilience to tomorrow’s pandemics – we need joint action. “
This year’s World AIDS Day comes amid two major anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of the first recognition of the virus that led to AIDS in June 1981 by the United States Centers for Disease Control and the creation of AIDS Healthcare Foundation 35 years ago.
During the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s free concert at the forum, she will also recognize progress made in the fight against HIV / AIDS, which has killed 33 million people since the first cases were reported four decades ago.
According to AHF, more than 38 million people around the world are now living with HIV.