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News Release

November 15, 2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Houston's World AIDS Day observance to include candlelight vigil, "Poinsettia AIDS Ribbon"

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) and numerous HIV/AIDS related organizations will observe World AIDS Day on December 3 with an evening program featuring a candlelight vigil, a large red poinsettias AIDS ribbon and speakers sharing thoughts on living with HIV or AIDS.

The free event will be held downtown at Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Four local citizens living with HIV or AIDS, Mayor Lee P. Brown and M. DesVignes-Kendrick, director, HDHHS, will address event participants before the vigil. Barbara Johnson Tucker and Tameka Hardison-Santa Cruz will sing in rememberance of people who have died of AIDS and those who are infected or affected by HIV or AIDS.

World AIDS Day is organized annually to raise public awareness of the impact that AIDS has in society and help prevent the spread of HIV. The red ribbon is the international symbol for AIDS awareness.

Community-based organizations sponsoring the event include the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans, Baylor Teen Health Clinic, Bread of Life, By His Love Ministry, Harris County Hospital District, Houston Area Community Services, Montrose Clinic, NAACP, WAM Foundation and YWCA.

A total of 19,850 AIDS cases have been reported to HDHHS since the epidemic started about 21 years ago. Cases of new HIV infection reported to HDHHS between January 1999 and September 2002 total 5,981.

For more information, call HDHHS’ Bureau of HIV/STD Prevention at 713-558-9638.

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