News Release


World AIDS Day Observed

The 12th annual World AIDS Day will be observed around the world and in Houston on December 1, 1999. Locally, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) is planning a number of events to increase awareness of AIDS, the second leading cause of death among adults ages 25 to 44. World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988 after a summit of the World Health Organization, which included health officials from around the world.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “AIDS-End the Silence. Listen, Learn, Live!” The theme aims to increase awareness of the continuing magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and locally, despite new treatment methods.

As of 1999, 33.4 million men, women and children worldwide are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. If current trends continue, nearly 40 million adults will be infected with HIV by the year 2000. The total number of HIV-infected persons in the U.S. is estimated to be between 650,000 and 900,000. In Houston/Harris County, between 18,000 to 20,000 are estimated to be HIV-infected.

Over 410,000 Americans have died of AIDS. In Houston/Harris County over 10,300 individuals have died of AIDS.

Although racial and ethnic minorities account for only 25 percent of the U.S. population, they account for over 50 percent of all AIDS cases. African-American and Hispanics account for 58 percent of adolescent males with AIDS and 83 percent of adolescent females with AIDS.

World AIDS Day will link communities throughout the United States in a unified observance when the White House dims its lights on the evening of December 1. This visual demonstration will signify the commitment to fight the AIDS global epidemic and will give tribute to people living with HIV/AIDS and to those who have died from AIDS. Here in Houston, the memorial will be observed by a candlelight vigil on the evening of December 1.

HDHHS planned events

  • Community outreach targeting African-American population, Tuesday, November 30, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Acres Home Multi-Service Center, 6719 West Montgomery
  • Community outreach targeting Hispanic and African-American populations, Wednesday, December 1, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center, 4014 Market Street
  • Candlelight vigil to remember individuals who have died from AIDS, Wednesday, December 1, 6 p.m., Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center, 4014 Market Street
  • Community outreach targeting Hispanic population, Thursday, December 2, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Burnett-Bayland Park, 6200 Chimney Rock
  • HIV testing and counseling with HDHHS Mobile Unit, Thursday, December 2, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Burnett-Bayland Park, 6200 Chimney Rock