Today marks the 22nd anniversary of World AIDS Day, and Washington’s statistics are as grim as ever: over 15,000 Washingtonians are known to have HIV, and tens of thousands more are thought to be unknowingly infected. However, this year’s commemoration brings with it a bit of hope. A study released last week showed that a daily dose of the drug Truvada reduced the risk of contracting HIV by at least 40 percent for gay men. This preventative could herald a new chapter in the AIDS epidemic, and at the very least, is a positive reminder of how far we’ve come on a day when we remember those we’ve lost.
There are events taking place around the city to mark World AIDS Day, ranging from the sober to the decidedly not sober. Whether you’re in the mood for remembrance or celebration, make sure to be safe and get tested.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Put on your activist pants and fight the good fight at the Home is Life Rally, organized by DC Fights Back. Activists will gather at Freedom Plaza (corner of 14th and Pennsylvania) to help raise awareness about waiting lists faced by individuals with HIV/AIDS to enter affordable housing.
5:30 p.m. The Whitman-Walker Clinic and the DC Center for the LGBT Community will be holding their annual candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle.
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Toast recent strides at the “Red Hot Night” party at Urbana (2121 P St., NW). Admission is $10, and includes one drink ticket and light hors d’oeuvres. There will also be a silent auction and two specialty “Cocktails for a Cure.” Proceeds from admission, silent auction bids and specialty cocktail purchases will be donated directly to the Whitman-Walker Clinic.
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The “I Am” Prayer and Candlelight Vigil, hosted by Damien Ministries, will take place at 2200 Rhode Island Ave., NE. The event will feature prayer, hot drinks and light snacks.
7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. To further party for a cause, head to the rooftop of Eden (1716 I St., NW) for the “Status Update” party. The event will feature DJ Mixxed, $5 Ciroc drinks, desserts by Kupkake Craze and a live performance by Black Alley. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. If you’re younger than my old lady self, you can attend The Golden Ticket party hosted by Metro TeenAIDS. This free event is open to those aged 13 to 24 only, and will be held at K Street Lounge (1301 K St., NW). Young people can enjoy free food, free HIV testing, an open mic and DJ Quicksilva.
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Hotel Palomar Arlington (1121 19th St., Arlington Va.) will host “A Taste of Virginia’s Own,” a wine tasting showcasing Virginia varietals and hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
7:30 p.m. The DC Center for the LGBT Community (1318 U St., NW) will host an open mic night. The theme for the evening will be HIV/AIDS. Everyone is welcome to participate.