The LGBTQ Center Long Beach creates a week-long socially-distanced option to commemorate World AIDS Day

The event will be in partnership with the LB Department of Health, the CARE Center at Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center, and APLA Health.

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The Center Long Beach, located at 2017 E 4th St, in Long Beach, CA.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations, this year World Aids Day will be commemorated from Monday, November 30 through Saturday, December 5 in Long Beach with a self-guided walk along with a memorial website, according to a press release from the LGBTQ Center.

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach in conjunction with the Long Beach Department of Health, the CARE Center at Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center, and APLA Health has created a Memorial Walk which stretches from Harvey Milk Promenade Park, 185 E. Third Street along the Promenade to the Lions Lighthouse at ShoreLine Aquatic Park in downtown Long Beach. The public can honor their loved ones at www.LBCHPG.com where the names of those that have been lost to HIV/AIDS will scroll and information about local health services is posted.

“It is so important that we publicly recognize World AIDS Day, especially while there are so many in our community being doubly affected by the current public health crisis,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “I am happy that the Center and our city partners have developed this safe, yet public way to honor those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. It’s also important that we use this day to get information out to our community about ways to prevent infection from this devastating illness.”

Large red ribbons, the universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV will dot the pathway with signs explaining World AIDS Day and a QR code that leads to www.LBCHPG.com. The public can participate at any time during the week.

“World AIDS Day is a reminder of how HIV has impacted the lives of so many people,” said Andrew Dorado, interim executive director of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach. “During the COVID-19 health alert, The Center and its community partners have continued to hold space to serve and care for people living with HIV and prevent exposure to the coronavirus. Through this most recent pandemic and others to come, we commit to raising awareness of HIV in our communities and to continue the work towards ending HIV in our lifetime.”

World AIDS Day, a worldwide effort to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. In previous years, a candlelight vigil at The Center led to a march to the beach where names of those lost that year were read. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day is the first ever global health day and is usually commemorated on December 1.

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach supports more than 25,000 people a year through programs including youth services, senior services, counseling, legal services, domestic violence support, trans health programs, HIV and STI testing, and more than 20 weekly support groups. Currently many of these services are offered online during the pandemic. Drive up and walk-up HIV/STI testing is now available by appointment Monday through Friday in a private area of the parking lot behind The Center at 2017 E. 4th Street in Long Beach. For more information on services, visit CenterLB.org or follow @CenterLB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.