Every year on December 1, we observe World AIDS Day. It’s a time to honor the lives of those lost to AIDS-related illnesses and reflect on the worldwide response to HIV/AIDS. This day also serves as a way to raise awareness and disseminate education.

“Stigma actually prevents people from learning their status, right? HIV is not a gay man’s disease. That’s what I want the entire world to grab hold of,” said Chiquita Lane, Community Engagement at Heart to Hand.

HIV is impacting the lives of people in ALL demographics – men, women, and even children. Out of the 38.4 million people living with HIV-AIDS, 1.7 of them are children. The World Health Organization, or WHO, estimates only 52% children are on life-saving treatments.

Meanwhile in the U.S., more than 83% of new diagnosis over the last three years have been women and can be attributed to heterosexual contact. That is why the WHO’s theme for World AIDS Day 2022 is Equalize. Meanwhile, the Biden-Harris Administration announced this year’s theme is Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV –  emphasizing accountability and action, and highlighting the importance of HIV testing.

“If indeed you test positive, it’s okay, you can live and you can thrive still while being HIV positive. But again, early detection leads to early treatment,” said Lane.

At the end of 2020, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported that 100,064 Texans were living with diagnosed HIV, a 13 percent increase over the past five years. However, the growth is due effective HIV treatments leading to longer life expectancy – rather than increases in Texans with new diagnoses. 

For the past decade, the annual number of Texans diagnosed with HIV has been stable at about 4,400.

Like most health issues, the exception was 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic when 3,580 state residents were diagnosed with HIV. This drop was most likely due to decreased HIV testing.

In Houston, Legacy Community Health is joining Normal Anomaly Initiative to pay tribute to those lives lost to AIDS, acknowledge the hard work and innovation of many, and celebrate the strides taken to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Event details

  • Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022
  • Time: 6pm to 8pm
  • Place: South Beach
  • Address: 810 Pacific St., Houston, TX 77006