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|AID Atlanta marks 30 years of services, awareness|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|April 17, 2012 10:44|
Founded in 1982 as a grass-roots response to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic, AID Atlanta has since become one of the largest organizations of its kind in the southeast.
AID Atlanta plans to commemorate its 30th anniversary this year by hosting the annual AID Atlanta Honors on June 14, the Atlanta Cotillion XI on Sept. 15 and the AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run on Oct. 21.
“We’ve set big goals for our 30th year and beyond,” Executive Director Tracy Elliott said in a statement released today. “We’re looking forward to continuing to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and giving hope to more Atlantans than ever before.”
The organization also announced plans for a candlelight vigil set for Dec. 1 at Piedmont Park.
Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the HIV epidemic.
“Certainly, the way that many people in the U.S. are looking at HIV has changed over time, and we have to be honest, the epidemic itself really has changed,” said Richard Wolitski, deputy director of behavioral and social science at CDC, in an interview last year about the anniversary. “This is a different epidemic than earlier, but we have to recognize that it’s still a major public health threat for this country.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize the magnitude of the crisis that we’re still facing today, particularly among men who have sex with men,” Wolitski added. “I don’t think that anybody could have imagined when the first five cases of AIDS were reported in 1981 by CDC that we’d be dealing with a worldwide epidemic, 30 years later, that’s taken the lives of more than 600,000 people in this country alone.”
To read more about the 30 years of HIV in the United States, please click here.
Top photo: AIDS Walk Atlanta drew 10,000 to Piedmont Park in 2011. (Photo by Brent Corcoran / RNZ Photography)
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