An estimated 40 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981, and an estimated 37 million are currently living with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), making it one of the most significant global public health issues in recorded history. First recognized in 1988, World AIDS Day is dedicated to spreading awareness of the AIDS pandemic, uniting in the fight against HIV infections and to mourning those who have died of the disease.
On December 1, 2020, the University of Cincinnati will participate in Worlds AIDS Day with a symposium to highlight the past, present and future of HIV/AIDS around the world from a medical, research and urban perspective. Open to all, this day-long, virtual event will feature speakers from around the country who have endeavored in many facets of HIV/AIDS treatment, research and advocacy. The day’s speakers include:
- Judith Feinberg, M.D., chair of the HIV Medicine Association and professor of behavioral medicine & psychiatry, professor of medicine/infectious diseases and E.B. Flink Vice Chair of Medicine for Research at West Virginia University School of Medicine.
- Mamie Harris, founder of IV-CHARIS (Compassionate Hearts, Assisting, Restoring, Instructing and Service), a faith-based, minority HIV organization in Cincinnati that has touched the lives of over 40,000 individuals through its collective programs.
- Keith R. Green, former associate editor of Positively Aware and current chairman of the anti-AIDS group Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus.
- Carl Fichtenbaum, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and associate chairman of medicine for translational research at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
- Darion Banister, regional manager for capacity building and community engagement for Gilead COMPASS Initiative located at Emory University.
UC’s World AIDS Day will kick off on November 30 with a workshop, Staying Positive: Winning, Living, and Thriving with HIV, led by Morris Singletary, HIV/AIDS activist and founder of the poZItive2poSItive Initiative that works to Keep HIV- people Negative, and to make sure those who are living with HIV are engaged or get re-engaged into care by initiatives that are fun while educating. Aimed at those with HIV, the objectives of the workshop are to explain the importance of cultural humility, naming strategies for confronting HIV-related stigma, explaining different ways those living with HIV/AIDS can advocate for themselves and identifying community support and prevention services.
UC’s World AIDS Day is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Libraries, the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact and by the Midwest AIDS Training + Education Center (MATEC). The day’s schedule, speaker bios and registration information for both the November 30 workshop and the December 1 symposium is available on the World AIDS Day web site.