Events honor survivors and lives lost, reduce stigma, and recognize partnerships that strengthen communities
Santa Clara County, CA – Local organizations together with the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department and City of San Jose commemorate the 33rd annual World AIDS Day with a candlelight vigil, flag raising, and other ceremonies. Honored each December 1 since 1988, World AIDS Day unites people worldwide in the fight against HIV and remembers the 6,778 people diagnosed with HIV in Santa Clara County since the beginning of the fight against the disease, including 4,956 people diagnosed with AIDS. Free, public events take place in San Jose and around the world. Event details can be found at the Silicon Valley World AIDS Day website.
“Santa Clara County has never stopped working to support people living with HIV by funding programs like the Getting to Zero new HIV infections. We already had the science we needed to stop new HIV infections and HIV related deaths. But the County understood that all the medicine and prevention in the world means nothing if you don’t get it to the people who need it,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.
Some racial and ethnic groups remain disproportionately impacted by HIV. In 2020, Hispanic/Latinx residents accounted for 56 percent of new HIV diagnoses in Santa Clara County. African American/Blacks accounted for 9 percent of new cases in the county, while representing only 2 percent of the overall population of the county. The most recent data available can be found in the STI and HIV Annual Report.
“For the past two years, County staff and community partners have continued working tirelessly to maintain life-saving HIV services despite the heavy burden of the COVID-19 response,” said Dr. Sarah Rudman, Assistant Health Officer with the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “In some of the darkest times, they continued providing HIV testing, HIV prevention medication, and connections to HIV medical care that were a lifeline for community members urgently needing those services.”
Since 2014, Santa Clara County has had a consistently higher percentage of successful early linkage to medical care for HIV infected people compared to the national average. HIV positive people who learn about their infections early and get early access to medical care live longer, healthier lives and are less likely to spread the disease to others. The Santa Clara County Getting to Zero initiative focuses on reaching zero new HIV infections, zero stigma, and zero HIV-related deaths.
Santa Clara County World AIDS Day Events
In-person and virtual options are available for each event.
San Jose City Rotunda Lights Up for World AIDS Day
Tuesday, November 30 - Monday, December 6
200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Sponsored by Councilmember Raul Peralez
Proclamation at San Jose City Council
Tuesday, November 30 at 11 a.m.
Councilmember Raul Peralez
Recorded live stream: https://www.sanjoseca.gov/news-stories/watch-a-meeting
County of Santa Clara Flag Raising Ceremony and Proclamation
Wednesday, December 1 at 12:30 p.m.
In-person: 70 W Hedding Street, McEntee Plaza, San Jose, CA 95110
Speakers: Supervisor Cindy Chavez and Dr. Sarah Rudman, Assistant Health Officer
Live stream at https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/99510135121 (Meeting ID 995 1013 5121)
Candlelight Vigil at the Rotunda
Wednesday, December 1 at 6 p.m.
Hosted by Silicon Valley Pride
In-person: 200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Live stream at bit.ly/svpride-facebook and bit.ly/svpride-youtube
Everyone has a role to play:
- Get tested. The only way to know your status is to get tested. The Public Health Department offers free HIV testing at GetTestedSCC.org.
- Wear a red ribbon, the symbol of HIV awareness and support, and tell people why you are wearing it.
- Participate in any of the scheduled events commemorating Silicon Valley World AIDS Day 2021.
- Get involved in local Getting to Zero program activities by visiting GettingtoZeroSCC.org
- Know the facts about HIV.
- People who do not have HIV but who are at high risk of getting it, can take a daily pill called PrEP, which is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed. Over 400 patients have started taking PrEP after receiving assistance from the Public Health Department. Learn more about PrEP at sccphd.org/prep.
- People with HIV who take medication until their blood virus is undetectable can’t pass the virus to their sexual partners. Learn more at: hivhaschanged.org.