SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—The AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts (AFWM) announced today that the organization will host a community gathering to mark World AIDS Day on December 1, 2014. Free and confidential HIV testing and counseling by Baystate Health and refreshments will be available beginning at 4:00 p.m., with the program beginning at 5:00 p.m.
The World AIDS Day gathering is an annual event that brings the community together in remembrance of those lost to the disease and celebration for progress made in the fight against it. The gathering will return to South Congregational Church this year, which is located at 45 Maple Street in Springfield. [pullquote]The evening will conclude with a moving candlelight vigil led by Revs. Louis Mitchell of South Congregational and Ute Schmidt of Baystate Health.[/pullquote]
The evening will feature a presentation from Dr. Daniel Skiest, Chief of Baystate Health’s Infectious Disease Division, who will give an overview on the state of the epidemic. Live music will be provided by Exit 7 Theater’s cast of RENT, local musician and HIV/AIDS educator Jeffro Wyda. In addition, there will be an open mic. Attendees are welcome to share songs, stories, poetry, thoughts and more. The evening will conclude with a moving candlelight vigil led by Revs. Louis Mitchell of South Congregational and Ute Schmidt of Baystate Health.
Support for this event is provided by Baystate Health, Out Now!, and Tapestry Health.
The gathering is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (413) 301-0955, email [email protected], or visit www.aidsfoundationwm.org. The event can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/863837280323255/.