World AIDS Day Interfaith Service
World AIDS Day is observed each year on December 1 and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and remember those who have died. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
The Alexandria Health Department, the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS, Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapters will co-sponsor an Interfaith Service in commemoration of World AIDS Day on Sunday, December 1, 2019, 3 to 5 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 711 N. Columbus Street, Alexandria VA. RSVP and more information available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/world-aids-day-interfaith-service-tickets-80057643567.
World AIDS Day was adopted by the World Summit of Ministers of Health on AIDS in January 1988. Later that year, the World Health Organization declared December 1, 1988 the first World AIDS Day. Generally, the rates of people contracting HIV/AIDS have remained steady at 40,000 new infections each year in the United States. However, some populations, such as women and minorities, have seen significant increases in rates. In Alexandria there are 1,192 residents currently living with HIV/AIDS as of December 31, 2018.
The City of Alexandria has taken an active role in addressing the HIV epidemic. In 1987, Alexandria was the only locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia that established a Task Force to study the problems of AIDS and HIV infection in Alexandria and to report its findings to elected officials. The Task Force on AIDS’ initially educated all City employees on AIDS, and worked to assure that residents and employees living with AIDS did not face discrimination in the work place or in accessing services. In 2000, Alexandria City Council voted to organize the Task Force into the Alexandria Commission of HIV/AIDS (ACOHA). ACOHA Commissioners continue to advise Council on HIV related matters affecting the residents of Alexandria.
Alexandria City agencies have collaborated for more than 30 years to make medical care and mental health, substance abuse, housing and social services accessible to persons living with HIV/AIDS and to promote HIV prevention, testing and reduce stigma.
Alexandria Health Department encourages its residents to stay involved and welcome everyone's attendance at the 2019 World AIDS Day Interfaith service.
The Alexandria Health Department offers FREE HIV testing during HIV clinics held on Mondays 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays 1 to 3 p.m., and Thursdays 5 to 6:30 p.m. at 4480 King Street and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at Neighborhood Health (6677 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA). For more information on HIV testing please call 703.746.4839.