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Several Area Activities Will Mark World AIDS Day

Published: November 23, 2012

JOHN VOKET

    Several Area Activities Will Mark World AIDS Day

    DANBURY – The United Nations’ (UN) World AIDS Day is held on December 1 each year to honor AIDS victims. It also focuses on issues surrounding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

    World AIDS Day is the focal point of the World AIDS Campaign, which is active all year round. On December 1, there are many health education campaigns that promote the day including several in the region listed below.

    Antidiscrimination activities are also launched on or around this date.

    Many people hold events on World AIDS Day to remember people died of AIDS-related conditions. One example is an AIDS Memorial Quilt project, which allows friends and family members of a deceased AIDS sufferer to construct quilt panels, which are then exhibited throughout the United States.

    The Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition CARC is a statewide coalition of organizations that provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Connecticut.

    In October 1987, under the leadership of the Reverend Thaddeus Bennett, then executive director of AIDS Ministries, four organizations came together to talk about how to address the growing problem of housing for people with AIDS. They created a collaborative to assist programs in building strong supportive housing models for people with HIV/AIDS.

    Connecticut’s AIDS housing programs were created in response to a clear crisis: people who were sick and dying had no place to live due to discrimination and loss of income during illness.

    The CT AIDS Residence Coalition incorporated in 1989. Its founding members included Center City Churches, the CT AIDS Residence Program (now Liberty Community Services), the Stewart B. McKinney Foundation, Leeway and St Luke’s Community Services (now St Luke’s LifeWorks).

    The aim of the group was to work with and mutually support organizations wishing to create AIDS housing by sharing resources, skills, and information. Today, coalition agencies advocate collectively for funding on a local and national level.

    In the fall of 2005, the agency changed its name to the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition to reflect its broadened mission to embrace all aspects of housing and services to persons living with HIV/AIDS in Connecticut and the fact that CARC is the only statewide AIDS coalition.

    Individuals who want to participate in World AIDS Day activities can attend The Greater Danbury Ryan White Care Consortium’s World AIDS Day Breakfast Friday, November 30, from 8:30 to 10:30 am at The Matrix Conference & Banquet Center, 39 Old Ridgebury Road.

    The Greater Bridgeport HIV/AIDS Care Consortium is holding World AIDS Day events on Friday, November 30, from 11 am to 2 pm at the University of Bridgeport Student Center.

    The Fifteenth Annual World AIDS Day Interfaith Service – A Service of Remembrance, Awareness, Hope, and Healing is being held Thursday, November 29, at 7 pm at the First United Methodist Church, 42 Cross Road in Stamford. Project NAMES Quilt Panels made by Stamford residents will be on display during the service.

    The service is open to all faiths with testimonies, scripture readings, candle lighting, prayers of healing and music from the Madrigals of Stamford High School, Break Out Gospel Choir, New World Chorus, Chamber Singers of Westhill High School, and Locust Contemporary Dancers.

    For details on the interfaith service, call 203-324-1323.