World AIDS Day Detroit Revitalizes Awareness

BY BTL STAFF

DETROIT - "World AIDS Day Detroit provides a platform to stand together, as one community, and commemorate World AIDS Day in a major way. We urge everyone to take part," said Wayne State University School of Medicine medical student Phillip Kucab.

"I am thrilled World AIDS Day Detroit has become the largest awareness event of its kind in Detroit."

Launched by Kucab in 2011, WADD -- acknowledged on Dec. 1 -- is a grassroots campaign to provide a day of reflection, awareness and education.

Kucab reminds the community that HIV and AIDS is still here: "HIV and AIDS is a big problem and we need to be talking more openly about it," he said. "HIV is 100 percent preventable, yet we are still seeing 50,000 new infections each year. Overall in the United States, one out of 200 people have HIV, but it is three times that rate here in Detroit. One in four people with HIV do not even know they have it. Treatment and care is accessible, yet less than half of the people in and around Detroit who have HIV are being treated. We can do much better than that."

With unprecedented collaboration among metropolitan Detroit community-based organizations, institutions, business and government leaders and national entertainers, WADD seeks to revitalize awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and its impact on individuals and communities.

WADD events will take place at the Garden Theater at 3929 Woodward Ave. in Detroit from 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

The day will begin with the annual kickoff event for WADD, the Giving Breakfast, with keynote address from the Deputy Director of the Detroit Health Department, Leseliey Welch, MPH, and Dr. Richard Baker, Vice Dean of Medical Education at the WSU School of Medicine. Metro Detroit mayors, elected officials, community-based organizations, university and business leaders will attend this event. Tickets are $50 and available to purchase online.

WADD will also host a symposium at 11:30 a.m. This is a special opportunity for students to participate in World AIDS Day while learning about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The event is free and open to the public. Schools and students interested in participating should visit the website.

The organization will host their evening benefit, Winter Wonderland, at 7 p.m. The event will include musical performances by the Detroit Children's Choir and will feature a presentation of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Tickets for the Wonderland event only are $15 online or $20 at the door.

For event details, to purchase tickets or make donations, visit WADD online.

Check out the BTL World AIDS Day Event Calendar INSERT for the most up-to-date information about events happening in the local area.


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Special Section: World AIDS Day
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