Fifty-one Alaskans were diagnosed with HIV in 2012, and for more than half, the virus had already developed into AIDS.
Sunday is World AIDS Day, an annual observance to increase awareness and prevention. HIV is immunodeficiency virus, which attacks the immune system and leads to AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. There is no cure, though both can be controlled by medication.
World AIDS Day will be observed in Juneau on Sunday, beginning at 4 p.m. at McPhetre’s Hall, then move to Cathedral Park.
Phoebe Rohrbacher calls it a remembrance and celebration. Rohrbacher is Southeast Services Coordinator for the Four A’s, or Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association.
“It will be an event to remember those who have died in Alaska and worldwide as a result of AIDS, and to remember those who are living with the virus currently.”
Rohrbacher says names of Alaskans who have died of AIDS will be read at the candle light vigil at Cathedral Park.