December 5, 2012
WestCare, the Department of Public Health and Social Services, and Guam's Alternative Lifestyle Association (GALA) held a community outreach event commemorating World AIDS Day on December 2, 2012. The theme for the WestCare and GALA collaboration at Agana Shopping Center was, "Working Together for an AIDS-free Generation." The goal of the day was to reduce the incidence of HIV in Guam.
The World AIDS Day event featured quilts that memorialized people with AIDS. Representatives from GALA and WestCare health educator Lolita Muñoz offered information about HIV and other STDs, demonstrated the proper use of contraceptives, and distributed free contraceptives. Muñoz emphasized that new rapid testing technology delivers results within minutes, so that HIV-infected persons can link to services much more quickly.
GALA President Tim de La Cruz declared that the World AIDS Day outreach events were an important way to reduce the stigma of HIV/AIDS and to clear up misconceptions about HIV and STDs. The day concluded with a candlelight vigil honoring those with AIDS.