San Francisco, CA – At the beginning of December each year, people united in the fight against HIV/AIDS come together to observe World AIDS Day. The National AIDS Memorial remembers, honors, and supports stories of the pandemic to ensure they are never forgotten. On November 30 and December 1, the memorial hosted events in San Francisco and online to “offer inspiration, hope, remembrance, and reflection,” as 2021 marks the 40th year of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the US, with over 700,000 lives lost in the past four decades. “Today, while much progress has been made, HIV rates continue to rise in the US, with 1.2 million people living with HIV today, particularly impacting young people and communities of color,” reads the website.

Tuesday’s programming included the memorial’s “30th Anniversary Light in the Grove Fundraising Gala,” which returned as an in-person, outdoor event. Ticket sales went directly to memorial programs. Wednesday’s National AIDS Memorial Virtual World AIDS Day Observance brought together national leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Admiral Rachel L. Levine, among others, in recognition of World AIDS Day. The event also featured appearances by Billy Porter, Steven Canals, and Our Lady J to honor the achievements and future legacy of their television series Pose! with a National Leadership Recognition Award.

Both nights were host to a public display of lights and reading-of-names ceremony in remembrance of those who lost their lives to AIDS this year. Live poetry and musical performances illuminated the ten-acre memorial like never before. More information, including media from these events, is available online now at https://www.aidsmemorial.org/. (Seattle Gay News – Kylin Brown at https://www.sgn.org/story.php?ch=national&sc=&id=311070)

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