World AIDS Day is Marked in Orange County and Marked in Red in Downtown Long Beach

Orange County does not go as ga-ga–Lady or otherwise–for World AIDS Day as many other municipalities (especially nearby Long Beach).

But there are some commemorations today in the onetime gay mecca of Laguna Beach and Saturday in the future gay mecca of Santa Ana.

Observances of World AIDS Day, which takes place each December 1 to commemorate men, women and children who have died due to HIV/AIDS, to be held in Orange County include:

  • HIV Resource Fair: Get fast and free HIV testing, learn more about organizations that help those with HIV/AIDS and view an AIDS Quilt panel memorial from 3-5 p.m. today at Main Beach, Pacific Coast Highway and Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach.
  • Candlelight Vigil: The somber procession begins at 5:30 p.m., also at Laguna Beach's Main Beach.
  • AIDS Memorial Service: Remember those who have passed at 7 p.m. at Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St Ann's Drive, Laguna Beach.

(The previous events are organized by the Laguna Beach HIV Advisory Committee and Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Laguna Drug, Shanti Orange County, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County, Garden Grove Pharmacy and Neighborhood Congregational Church.)

  • Gathering and Candlelight Vigil: Another somber remembrance is held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Santa Ana Artists' Village, Broadway Avenue and Spurgeon Street, Santa Ana. (Sponsored by AIDS Services Foundation Orange County).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report more than
56,000 people in the U.S. become HIV infected every year. The CDC also
estimates that more than 1 million people are living with HIV and AIDS
in the U.S.

In Orange County, about 350 people contract HIV annually (or
nearly one person a day). There are about 8,000 people in Orange County currently living with HIV/AIDS.

While an orange county rather modestly marks World AIDS Day, Long Beach is painting itself red. Here is some of what's going on up coast from us.

  • Downtown Long Beach Goes RED on World AIDS Day: Mayor Bob Foster flips a switch in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center to illuminate more than 25,000 LED lights affixed to such structures as hotels, the Convention Center and the Queen Mary. The rally begins at 5:30 this evening. The Downtown Long Beach Associates and the Long Beach Area Convention
    Center N Visitors Bureau are helping with the presentation.

  • World AIDS Day: A Public Education Presentation: Film, chorale and educational presentations are presented from 6-8:30 tonight at the Art Theatre. Free health information and HIV testing are offered, and Project Red Paint art competition winners are unveiled. The Long Beach AIDS Foundation partners with The Center Long Beach and South Coast Chorale to present the event.
  • Dine in Long Beach for HIV/AIDS Services: Starting at 6:30 this evening, when you dine at a participating restaurant, a portion of your bill goes to The Center Long Beach HIV Counseling N Testing Program, Long Beach AIDS Foundation, Long Beach C.A.R.E. Program and Wells House Hospice Foundation. Auld Dubliner, Buono's Authentic Pizzeria, District Wine, Fuego at the
    Maya Hotel, Gaucho Grill, Gladstone's, George's Greek Café, Hamburger
    Mary's, Johnny Rockets, Kabob Curry, Kavikas Grill N Bar, SIP Lounge
    and Sky Room are among the eateries participating, but the list is also being updated at
  • After Party: Sip a cocktail at the official World AIDS Day event that begins at 9 p.m. in the SIP Lounge at the Renaissance Hotel, where there will be a DJ on the patio and red drink specials in the bar.
  • Angels in America: The multiple-award-winning HBO
    miniseries, which is based on Tony Kushner's multiple-award-winning play
    of the same name, is presented in its two parts (“Millennium
    Approaches” and “Perestroika”) at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
    respectively at the Art Theatre. Long Beach Cinematheque and the AMP
    Organization partner to present the groundbreaking miniseries. It's free
    to attend, “however donations are encouraged and appreciated,” say
    organizers, who will turn over the collections to the L.A. Gay N
    Lesbian Center and its AIDS/LifeCycle event set for June 2011.

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