World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day, observed annually on December 1, is an effort to strengthen the global response to the challenges of the AIDS pandemic. It is designed to encourage public support for programs that prevent the spread of HIV infection and to provide education and awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.
This year's theme, "Be a Force for Change," focuses on young people between the ages of 15 and 24. It is a call for action, aimed at motivating young people here and around the world to commit themselves to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among themselves and their peers and throughout their communities.
For those of us involved in the fight against AIDS -- the infected and affected -- World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on where we and the epidemic have been, the loved ones who are gone, and the battles we've won or lost. It's also a time to remind ourselves that it's far from over, and to renew our commitment to helping those who have the virus and to preventing its spread to others.
World AIDS Day is observed in many different ways. Some of the planned commemorative events are listed here.
Day With(out) ArtDay Without Art was first observed on World AIDS Day 1989, when artworks in museums and galleries were shrouded as a visual reminder of the devastation AIDS was visiting on artistic communities. In its tenth year, it has evolved into a Day With Art, a day of action and mourning that demonstrates the power of art to raise awareness of the ongoing AIDS pandemic.
This year's Day With(out) Art theme is "A Day in the Life ... (of AIDS)," and the day's observances are being coordinated by Visual AIDS. Events in New York include:
Museum of American Folk Art, 2 Lincoln Square
Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street
New York Public Library, 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue
Thundergulch, 55 Broad Street
Brooklyn Museum of Art, 200 Eastern Parkway
Museo Del Barrio, Heckscher Building, 1230 Fifth Avenue (at 104th Street)
Museum of Television and Radio, 25 West 52nd Street
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2 East 91st Street
Several ongoing exhibitions have also been arranged in observance of World AIDS DayArt in General, 79 Walker Street November 21, 1998-January 16, 1999.
Steed Taylor's "I Am the Love You Have Given Me" is a window installation exploring the idea of love expressed through correspondence.
Richard Anderson Fine Arts, 453 West Seventeenth Street, Fourth Floor
St. Marks-in-the-Bowery, 131 East Tenth Street
Night Without LightThe Night Without Light tradition as a symbol of commitment to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS will be led by the White House, which will dim its lights from 7:45 to 8:00 p.m. on World AIDS Day.
In years past, the Broadway theaters have been New York's most visible Night Without Light participants. At press time, it was not yet clear whether the tradition would continue this year.
Names ReadingTell the Mayor: People with AIDS Are Dying
For the fifth year, Housing Works will host a day-long vigil at City Hall Park. The event will begin at midnight with a lone reader at a microphone reciting the names of people who have died. At dawn, four more readers will gradually join in, until five voices are intermingling, suggesting the overwhelming devastation of our communities.
To submit names to be read, to volunteer as a reader, or for more information, call Michelle Sajous, World AIDS Day Coordinator, at (212) 966-0466, Ext. 296.
The Names Project QuiltApproximately 2,000 individual panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt (which now contains more than 43,000 panels) will be visiting New York between November 30 and December 4. They will be exhibited at more than 75 different venues -- schools, libraries, churches, office buildings -- in all five boroughs. New quilt squares will be accepted, and information about preparing panels will be available.
A list of sites where panels will be exhibited is available by calling The NAMES Project's New York City Chapter at (212) 226-2292. (This all-volunteer project uses voicemail, and warns that it may take a few days for someone to get back to you.) At the national organization's website, www.aidsquilt.org, you can ask about specific panels and whether they will be part of the New York exhibition.
More ActivitiesOther groups are planning their own commemorations. The list below is far from exhaustive. Check with your local AIDS service organization, school, place of worship, community center, or library to find out what's going on in your area.
Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center
American Foundation for AIDS Research
Benson AIDS Series #9
The HIV Center of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
The Black Church Speaks! AIDS: A National Emergency in the African American Community
Out of the Darkness
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.