BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
To mark the 24th annual World AIDS Day, activists on Thursday will light candles for and read the names of those who died in the first 30 years of the global AIDS epidemic. Many of those events will be in South Florida.
“The more people participate, the more the world watches,” said Terry DeCarlo of HIV/AIDS agency Broward House, which is helping organize a 6 p.m. candlelight walk along Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors.
“Although AIDS has become a manageable disease through medication, it’s still here and its still killing every single day,” DeCarlo said. “We have to let the younger generation know that although there are medications, they have to do everything in their power so that they do not need to be on those medications.”
Comedienne Margaret Cho will be grand marshal for the walk, which begins at Hagen Park behind City Hall at 2020 Wilton Dr. A rally will follow at 2166 Wilton Dr., with appearances by Cho, Broward gay activists and the Fort Lauderale Gay Men’s Chorus.
An 8 p.m. candlelight service will also be held at Miami Beach Community Church, 500 Lincoln Rd.
Throughout the day Thursday, Care Resource will hold health fair screenings and barbecues outside offices at 3510 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami and 871 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in Broward.
“This year more than ever we need to raise awareness that we've made tremendous progress,” Care Resource Executive Director Rick Siclari said. “Either the cure or sustainable suppression are well within our reach.”
About 33.3 million people live with HIV and more than 25 million people have died from the virus, according to the World AIDS Day committee in London.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at Miami Beach Community Health Center, 710 Alton Rd., the names will be read of 500 men, women and children lost to AIDS.
“It puts it in perspective so that we don’t forget,” event organizer Michael Goodman said. “The names are particularly personal and represent friends and neighbors who unfortunately have been lost. it’s a very impactful way to put everything into perspective.”