Rocking a red ribbon not only completes any outfit; it shows everyone – especially people living with HIV and their families – your support. On December 1 The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center (WAM) presented the official kick-off to World AIDS Day, founded in 1988 and themed this year as Rock the Ribbon. Hosted by The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, the event featured special guests Chuck Panozzo, Styx rock band member, and Laura Vivas, recording artist and former contestant on The Voice.
“As an advocacy and learning center, World AIDS Museum was proud to present this open-to-everyone effort that keeps HIV care and education at the forefront,” said Requel Lopes, executive director of WAM. “World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.” World AIDS Museum gathered elected officials, fellow HIV-related agencies and other stakeholders. Attendees embraced this community gathering with special performances by Laura Vivas and the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus under the direction of Gary Keating. DJ Aulden Brown added his flair to rock the crowd. The World AIDS and Museum and Educational Center works to promote dialogue that eliminates HIV/AIDS stigma through education, artistic expression, and cultural programming.