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December 1 Is World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is December 1; commemorations continue through the month. | COVER DESIGN BY MARK RAMOS

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Worldwide, an estimated 38 million people are living HIV, with more than 17 million still receiving no treatment to halt the progression of AIDS-related illnesses, according to data from UNAIDS. In 2016, approximately 1.8 million people became newly infected, with 160,000 of those under the age of 18, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research reports. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 76 million have contracted HIV, with AIDS-related deaths totaling 35 million, one million of them in 2016, according to amfAR.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, with 15 percent of them unaware of their infection. New infections per year continue at a level of more than 35,000, with cumulative deaths related to AIDS totaling nearly 700,000. In 2014, the most recent year for which the CDC has presented nationwide data, 6,721 people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

In New York City, the number of new HIV diagnoses continues to decline, though incrementally, with an 8.6 percent drop from 2,493 in 2015 to 2,279 in 2016, according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In 2016, 1,403 deaths in the city were attributed to AIDS-related causes. As of January 1, 2016, the health department estimates there were more than 120,000 city residents living with HIV.

On November 30, December 1, and into the month, events commemorating World AIDS Day are taking place across the city. Among those scheduled are:

BROOKLYN PRIDE COMMUNITY CENTER CANDLE LIGHT REMEMBRANCE
In its new home on Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, the Brooklyn Pride Community Center hosts a brief Red Ribbon ceremony by candle light followed by community leaders reading names of those lost to the epidemic. A reception follows the ceremony.

1360 Fulton St., at New York Ave.
Ground floor, Restoration Plaza
Nov. 30, 6-8 p.m.Details at lgbtbrooklyn.org/portfolio/world-aids-day-2017

 

George Towne’s “Larry Kramer-Portrait,” oil on board, 16 x 12 in., is part of the “Art & AIDS: 35 Years of Survival” exhibition at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art through December 30. | COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

FOURTH ANNUAL CITYWIDE WORLD AIDS COMMEMORATION
The End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition, made up of more than 60 AIDS-service and community-based organizations, medical providers, and elected officials, is joined by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Department of Health in hosting the fourth annual citywide commemoration.

This year’s theme is Health Equity, which focuses on addressing the obstacles people living with and affected by HIV/ AIDS face in accessing optimal health care and support — including racism, poverty, homophobia, transphobia, stigma, violence, shame, and homelessness and housing instability. The event will also focus on mental health, behavioral health, and substance use issues that create even more barriers to care.

The End AIDS NY 2020 Coalition believes that it is critical for local and state government and the community to come together to ensure that all New Yorkers — regardless of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, income, or immigration status — have equitable access to the health care they need, including HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Compassionate, comprehensive care is a right, and New York must continue to be a global and national leader in reimagining what health care and health equity can and should be.

Among officials and advocates speaking will be City Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the deputy commissioner for disease control. Among a host of entertainers will be the all-women Brazilian Drumline FogoAzul NYC.

Kings Theatre
1027 Flatbush Ave., btwn.
Tilden Ave. & Beverley Rd.
Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

THE R.E.D BALL
The R.E.D. (Remembering. Empowering. Doing.) Ball is an annual fashion show/ runway competition sponsored by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that commemorates World AIDS Day. The Kiki scene welcomes young members of the community to creatively express themselves. Winners earn prizes, trophies, and the respect of their peers.

Categories include: Old Girl Move (one trophy, $100); Cac-Cac-Shawam, Commentator vs Commentator (one trophy, $100); Wardrobe: Best Dressed Duo (one trophy, $250); Pretty Face (one trophy, $250); Walking Runway (one trophy, $200); Zapatos & Spectacles: Foot and Eye (one trophy, $100); Throat: The Voice (one trophy, $100); FF Performance (one trophy, $100); BQVF (two trophies and one gift card, $100); and Blending Realness (grand prize, $500).

Admission is free, as is the HIV testing, and the event is wheelchair-accessible.

404 NYC
404 10th Ave., just below 33rd St.
Dec. 1, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
Details at eventbrite.com/e/red-ball-2017-ring-the-alarm-tickets-39707960579

 

WORLD AIDS DAY AT THE ALLIANCE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
In a day-long program at four locations titled “Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections, ” the Alliance for Positive Change, which serves New Yorkers living with HIV/ AIDS and other chronic illnesses, aims to provide an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to provide free and confidential HIV testing, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

At the Alliance for Positive Change:
64 W. 35th St., second floor
Dec. 1, 9:30-10 a.m.: Reading of names
10-11:00 a.m.: Healthy Eating with HIV
11 a.m.-noon: HIV/ AIDS & Diabetes Presentation
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Poets Café — Readings by members of the Alliance’s Creative Writing Workshop
1-2:00 p.m.: Community Lunch
2-3:30 p.m.: HIV/ AIDS Jeopardy

At Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center:
25 Allen St., btwn. Hester & Canal Sts.
Dec. 1, 10:30am: Syringe Exchanges’ Impact on HIV Prevention
2 p.m.: Memorial: Movie Presentation

At CASA Washington Heights:
2036 Amsterdam Ave., at W. 161st St.
Dec. 1, 1 p.m.: PrEP Panel Discussion
2 p.m.: Movie Presentation

At Harlem Keith Haring Center:
315 E. 104th St.
Dec. 1, 11 a.m.: PrEP Workshop Presentation
1 p.m.: Movie Presentation
Details at alliance.nyc/events/2017/12/1/world-aids--day-2017

 

OUT OF THE DARKNESS WORLD AIDS DAY CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the American Run for the End of AIDS, Fundacion MAROZO, Heritage of Pride, the International AIDS Prevention Initiative, the Keith Haring Foundation, Shake Shack, and St. John’s Lutheran Church host the 26th “Out of the Darkness” World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil and Gathering.

Among the speakers will be former State Senator Tom Duane, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, Brooke Guinan, the city’s first out transgender firefighter, NYPD Detective Brian Downey, the president of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), and Kelsey Louie, GMHC’s CEO.

The “Human Beings” from Gays Against Guns, veiled marchers representing people killed from gun violence, will also participate, and portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed.

New York City AIDS Memorial
Greenwich Ave., at W. 12th St.
Dec. 1, 6 p.m.
After the speeches and presentations, participants will march to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St., btwn. W. Fourth & Bleecker Sts.

 

HIV STOPS WITH ME CAMPAIGN PRESENTS “90 DAYS”
The HIV Stops With Me Campaign hosts an evening screening of Nathan Hale Williams and Jennia Fredrique Aponte’s film “90 Days,” which tells the story of a young couple forced to confront the modern day challenges of loving with HIV. The screening is part of a town hall meeting and panel discussion, moderated by PageSix TV and Sirius/ XM host Bevy Smith, that will tackle the impact of stigma on the rising infection rates in communities of color and how entertainment can have positive effects on the current state of HIV/ AIDS.

“We believe that storytelling is a perfect vehicle for advocacy and activism,” said director Williams. “With ‘90 Days,’ our goal is to use entertainment to advocate for the message that love is greater than anything, including HIV.”

Joining Bevy and the directors on the panel will be journalist Emil Wilkebin, HIV Stops With Me spokesperson Kimberly Canady-Griffith, a wife and mother living with the virus, and lead actor Nic Few .

First Corinthian Baptist Church
1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., at W. 116th St.
Dec. 1: doors open at 6 p.m.; program begins at 7

 

WORLD AIDS DAY CABARET
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the NYC AIDS Memorial, Joe’s Pub hosts a benefit cabaret starring Duncan Sheik, Lillias White, Taylor Mac, Linda Lavin, and director Rob Ashford. Until last year, the city had no highly visible public memorial recognizing those we lost and the extraordinarily heroic effort of caregivers and activists who helped change the trajectory of the epidemic. Even though New York City alone lost more than 100,000 men, women and children to AIDS and the global activist response to the epidemic started here, the history of the disease in New York City has been all but invisible.

Joe’s Pub, inside the Public Theater
425 Lafayette St., btwn. W. Fourth & Astor Pl.
Dec. 1, 7 p.m.; doors open at 6
Tickets are $150-$2,000 at joespub.com

 

“Collective Responses To HIV: A Book Talk” will be presented at Leslie-Lohman on December 2, 3-5 p.m. | COURTESY: LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART

WORLD AIDS DAY AT LESLIE-LOHMAN MUSEUM OF GAY AND LESBIAN ART
The museum and Gay Men’s Health Crisis host the opening reception of “Art & AIDS: 35 Years of Survival,” an art exhibition commemorating GMHC’s 35th anniversary and the long-term survivor community. The exhibition features dozens of works created by GMHC clients. David Livingston and GMHC board member Osvaldo Perdomo curated the exhibition, and the group’s CEO, Kelsey Louie said, “For many of our participating client artists, creating these works was a healing experience to help them express their emotions about living with HIV/ AIDS.” Free and open to the public.

26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts.
Nov. 30, 6-8 p.m.
The exhibition runs through Dec. 30.

On Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m., GMHC and the museum hosts a panel discussion about the influence of art in the AIDS epidemic during the last 35 years.
Details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-aids-the-influence-of-art-in-the-aids-epidemic-tickets-39229628876

In “Collective Responses To HIV: A Book Talk,” the museum honors the release of two new books which explore the power of art and collective action: Avram Finkelstein’s “After Silence: A History of AIDS Through Its Images” and Dr. Daniel Berger and John Neff’s “Militant Eroticism: The ART+ Positive Archives.” Finkelstein and Berger will share stories, art, and context from their books, and be joined by Jennifer Flynn Walker from the Center for Popular Democracy, Jaron Benjamin from Housing Works, and moderator Lisa Dent. Free and open to the public.

26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts.
Dec. 2, 3-5 p.m.

“Day With(out) Art: Alternate Endings, Radical Beginnings” is the 28th annual iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project. Curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett, the video program prioritizes black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic, commissioning seven new and innovative short videos from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia LaBeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and Brontez Purnell. In spite of the impact of HIV/ AIDS within black communities, these stories and experiences are constantly excluded from larger artistic and historical narratives.

26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts.
Nov. 30-Dec. 10

“Positive, Negative, and the Space Between” showcases the creative accomplishments of participants in Housing Works Adult Day Healthcare programs. The exhibition explores shifting perspectives on HIV/AIDS against a broadening healthcare landscape. All proceeds from this event will go to support Housing Works’ artists and Art Therapy departments.

Leslie-Lohman Project Space
27-B Prince St., at Wooster St.
Opening reception: Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m.
Dec. 2-3, noon-6 p.m.

The Silence=Death Collective is a group of commissioned artists creating work to cover the museum’s façade. To inaugurate this initiative, the museum will feature a site-specific installation adapting the iconic Silence=Death poster used by ACT UP in the 1980s to call attention to the lack of action by the US government. Iconic elements of the poster will be reorganized over time to contextualize the message with language that addresses the contemporary civil rights issues faced by LGBTQ community. Members of the Collective include Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Charles Kreloff, Christopher Lione, Jorge Socarras, and Oliver Johnston.

26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts.
Through June 2018

The Silence=Death Collective’s site-specific installation of the ACT UP poster at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. | TIMOTHY SCHENCK/ SILENCE=DEATH COLLECTIVE, FACADE COMMISSION /2017

“Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies” surveys the career of pioneering visual artist and filmmaker Barbara Hammer, featuring photographs, paintings, posters, films, videos, installations, drawings, writings, and more. Encompassing matters of lesbian subjectivity and sexuality, politics and representation, and visceral manifestations of pleasure and discomfort, “Evidentiary Bodies” tells a story of the relations, imprints, and textures that continue to shape Hammer’s oeuvre.

26 Wooster St., btwn. Canal & Grand Sts.
Through Jan. 28, 2018

On Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., a 90-min. evening of Hammer short films is presented, including “Snow Job: The Media Hysteria of AIDS,” an eight-min. film from 1988 that explores the ways in which the mainstream media used AIDS to perpetuate homophobia and provoke a fear of interacting with the LGBTQ community.

 

AIDS QUILT SONGBOOK 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
National Sawdust presents the 25th Anniversary Concert of the AIDS Quilt Songbook, an ongoing project by musicians responding to HIV/ AIDS. Conceived by the late baritone William Parker as a continually growing collection of art songs articulating the impact of the AIDS epidemic, its 25th anniversary concert, curated by Thomas Bagwell and Gordon Beeferman, will include songs from the 1992 premiere, selections from Songbook performances over the years, and new songs premiering that reflect the changing face of HIV/AIDS. Proceeds benefit Bailey House, a non-profit founded in 1986 that provides housing and support for people and families living with HIV/ AIDS, and advocates on their behalf.

National Sawdust
80 N. Sixth St., at Wythe Ave. Williamsburg
Tickets at $29 at https://nationalsawdust.org/event/25th-anniversary-concert-of-the-aids-quilt-songbook
$34 at the door

 

WORLD AIDS DAY AT BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL
As of 2016, nearly 30,000 people were living with HIV in Brooklyn, particularly in communities of color. Borough President Eric Adams hosts a community forum addressing issues including sexual health education in public schools and replenishing funding for HIV/ AIDS prevention programs. The conversation will be moderated by C. Virginia Fields, the former Manhattan borough president who is CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, and it will feature the voices of a range of key local partners in advocacy and treatment. Free HIV testing is available.

Borough Hall
209 Joralemon St., at Court St. Courtroom and Rotunda
Dec. 4, 6-9 p.m.
Details at brooklyn-usa.org/event/world-aids-day-2/

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