West Hollywood has put together a number of events to recognize World AIDS Day, which takes place on Dec. 1 each year. The first World AIDS Day has held in 1988. The event is meant to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died from complications of HIV/AIDS. Given that 40 percent of the city’s population consists of gay men, West Hollywood has felt the impact of HIV/AIDS more than most other cities. Two of its elected officials, Mayor John D’Amico and Councilmember John Duran, are openly HIV positive.
World AIDS Day 2014 events will kick off in West Hollywood this coming Sunday with the World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil and Celebration of Life, co-presented by AIDS/Lifecycle and the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The vigil will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the San Vicente entrance to West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. A candlelight procession will be followed by a moment of silence and a brief program including members of the West Hollywood City Council.
The Paul Starke Warrior Awards ceremony will be held on Monday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Awards will be given to individuals who provide service to people living with HIV/AIDS. There will be a reading by West Hollywood City Poet Steven Reigns, and there will be a presentation by Dillon Hosier of the Israel-West Hollywood HIV/AIDS Task Force.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday next week, a U.S. Conference on AIDS Update will take place at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. Presented by Bienestar, this event will provide comprehensive information from the Los Angeles Planning Subcommittee of the 18th Annual United States Conference on AIDS, which was held in San Diego several weeks ago.
To conclude the week’s commemoration of World AIDS Day 2014, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) will present APLA Writers Workshop Readings on Dec. 6 from 2 to 4 p.m at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. This free event will feature poignant, harrowing, and hilarious readings from current workshop participants; readings may contain content that is suitable only for adult audiences.
In addition, a panel of The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display until Dec. 6 at West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. at Sweetzer. The quilt, conceived in 1985 by activist Cleve Jones, is a memorial to and celebration of the lives of people lost to AIDS and HIV.
In addition to planned events, the City of West Hollywood will once again broadcast AIDSWatch on Monday. AIDSWatch is a 24-hour electronic art piece and memorial that takes place on World AIDS Day. It will be broadcast on WehoTV beginning at 12:01 a.m. AIDSWatch presents one name, one memory, one life at a time, appearing on a black screen in stark white letters. The AIDSWatch roster consists of approximately 25,000 names individually shown for about 3.5 seconds, the length it takes to take one breath. Residents and community members who have lost family or friends to AIDS are encouraged to include them in AIDSWatch — names may be added at www.aidswatch.org.
WehoTV programs are available to Time Warner Cable customers within the City of West Hollywood on channel 10 and the city’s bulletin board broadcast is provided on channel 6. West Hollywood’s public access station is available on channel 36. AT&T U-verse customers across Southern California can access WehoTV on channel 99. Subscribers can tune in to the city’s bulletin board broadcast and public access station by selecting channel 99 and choosing from an alphabetical listing of public, educational and governmental (PEG) channels listed in the channel 99 drop-down menu. A live stream of AIDSWatch will also be accessible from www.weho.org.
Congratulations to our City for being on the forefront of assisting people with HIV/AIDS. We are Visionaries.