An Open Invitation from V.E.S. on World AIDS Day
– by Ed Thomas
The 1st of December, World AIDS Day, is the day when individuals and organizations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic.
Here in Puerto Vallarta, World AIDS Day will be commemorated with a march along the Malecón that begins at Parque Hidalgo on Monday, December 1st at 8:30 am and ends at Los Arcos with speeches by different state and local dignitaries.
PV World AIDS Day participants will gather at the Parque Hidalgo at 8 am to prepare for the 8:30 am start. We would love to have a big turn out for this march. There is always a good turnout from the schools and the women of Vallarta, but we would like to show that the expats and the seasonal residents care about what goes on here locally.
Also for those marching we ask that you wear a white shirt or T Shirt. We will provide the red ribbons, and if you would like to make and carry a banner with supporting words or the name of a friend/relative with the virus or affected by it all are welcome. Also in other cities people have carried Red & White balloons feel free to do so at this event.
VES will be providing free rapid testing that day at three different sites along the Malecón; at the end near the fishing boats, at the seahorse statue, and at the Los Arcos Amphitheater. The tests, which take approximately 15 minutes, will be available at all three locations from 10 am-2 pm and from 3-7 pm.
Helping out the VES mobile detection unit that day will be a crew from CAPASITS (Centro Ambulatorio para la Prevencion y Atencion del VIH/SIDA e Infecciones de Transmision Sexual) and a crew from SSJ (the Secreteria de Salud Jalisco.)
As 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the first World Aids Day celebration in 1988, the theme of this year’s observation is “Keep the Promise – Stop Aids.”
More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.Puerto Vallarta’s HIV/AIDS non-profit organization, Vallarta Enfrenta el SIDA, and CAPASITS, work together to provide high-quality medical care, counseling and psychological support, education and prevention programs, and outreach to at-risk communities in the Banderas Bay area. For information, assistance, or to volunteer or donate, please visit VallartaEnfrentaSida.org.