News Release

November 19, 2001


"Human AIDS Ribbon," HIV testing to kick off World AIDS Day observance

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) and numerous HIV/AIDS related organizations will kick off observance of World AIDS Day by forming a "Human AIDS Ribbon" and offering free HIV testing on Friday, Nov. 30.

Staff with HDHHS, local agencies and churches and interested citizens, all wearing red attire, will gather in Hermann Park next to Miller Outdoor Theatre and form the shape of a large ribbon at 9 a.m. The red ribbon is the international symbol for AIDS awareness.

HIV testing and education will be offered by HDHHS' HIV Mobile Unit from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at event. Testing will also be offered from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at HDHHS' seven health centers and at Texas Southern University's Student Life Center, 3100 Cleburne.

Health centers and their addresses are La Nueva Casa, 1809 N. Main; Lyons Avenue, 5602 Lyons Avenue; Magnolia, 7037 Capitol; Northside, 8523 Arkansas; Riverside, 3315 Delano; Sunnyside, 9314 Cullen and West End, 190 Heights.

Mayor Lee P. Brown, Councilmember Jew Don Boney, Jr. and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee will address event participants after they form the ribbon.

World AIDS Day is organized annually on December 1 to raise public awareness of the impact that AIDS has in society and help prevent the spread of HIV.

Community-based organizations helping sponsor the events include the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans, NAACP, AIDS Foundation Houston, Health Velocity, New Hope Counseling Center, WAM Foundation, YWCA, United Way, Bread of Life, Chicano Family Center, Houston Area Community Services, Urban AIDS Ministry, Career & Recovery Resources, Inc., Montrose Clinic and Families Under Urban Social Attack.

Other sponsoring agencies are AVES, Life Center, Planned Parenthood, Houston HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee, Project W.A.V.E., Transgendered AIDS Initiative League, People With AIDS Coalition of Houston, Donald R. Watkins Foundation, Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church HIV/AIDS Ministry and the Houston Independent School District.

A total of 19,133 AIDS cases have been reported to HDHHS since the epidemic started more than 20 years ago. Cases of new HIV infection reported to HDHHS between January 1999 and September 2001 total 4,355.

People interested in helping form the "Human AIDS Ribbon" need to arrive at Hermann Park by 8:30 a.m. For more information, call HDHHS’ Bureau of HIV/STD Prevention at 713-794-9459.