Groups to observe World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is Dec. 1st

AIDS continues to impact millions of people worldwide and on December 1st, people will gather to observe World AIDS Day.

Education and public awareness are what some say helps fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and on World AIDS Day, that's exact what advocates plan to do.

For Bakersfield resident Cindy Pruitt, World AIDS Day, doesn't just happen one time during the year.

"Every day of my life is Wolds AIDS Day.  I live it. I breathe it.  I talk it.  I walk it,” she said.

Pruitt was diagnosed with HIV thirty years ago and in 1987 when it developed into aids, she began to educate anyone who would listen about the disease.

"I was having night sweats.  I couldn't regulate my body heat.  I had shingles, I felt like I had the flu, but I really didn't have the flu," she said.

As part of her regimen, Pruitt takes 18 pills, three she says are for the disease itself, the rest are for the side effects that come with taking the medication.

"I had no clue I was infected,” she adds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States and one in five living with HIV don't even know they have it.

"Some people really don't think that aids is a part of life and it's still very much a part of the world.  There's still not a cure, people are still dying, things are much better than it was in the 80's and 90's, people are living longer with HIV," said Robert Petersen, local advocate.

From 1981 to 2011 -- 2,001 cases of HIV/AIDS have been reported in Kern County.  Leaders with the health department say knowing ways to prevent the disease can reduce your risk and the number of HIV/AIDS cases. 

"Education is important.  The theme to the World AIDS Day this year as it was last year and in the coming years until 2015 is getting to zero.  Zero new infections, zero deaths."

Events to commemorate world aids day begin tomorrow night at the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance office on California avenue.


Kern County World AIDS Day 2012

Monday - Friday: Public Health

1800 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Bakersfield. 

8 am to 5 pm: Free rapid HIV testing.


Monday - Friday: Clinica Sierra Vista

2000 Physicians Plaza, Bakersfield. 

8 am to 5 pm: Free rapid HIV testing.


Thursday, November 29 - Open House Commemorating World AIDS Day

Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, 615 California Ave., Bakersfield

12 – 2 PM


Saturday, Dec.1 WORLD AIDS DAY

Annual Candlelight Vigil and March

Meet at the Liberty Bell 1415 Truxton Ave., Bakersfield

7PM Vigil and Program

(Guest Speakers, Entertainment, and Informational Booths, FREE Information)


Monday, Dec. 3 Change Counts!

10 AM – 6 PM @ Martin’s Meats & Deli 801 21st Street, Bakersfield

Tuesday, Dec.4 AIDS Quilt for Bakersfield High School, Special Assembly for High School Youth 8 AM – 3 PM


Saturday, Dec. 8 Enchanted Winters Evening

6:30 PM to 11:30 PM at the Hotel Rosedale

2400 Camino Del Rio Court Silent Auction and Drawings!

Proceeds benefit BAP children in Kern County affected by AIDS. Pre-sale tickets available at Martin’s Meats & Deli @ 801-21st St. off Q.


Tuesday, Dec. 11 AIDS Quilt Display

Metro Galleries 1604 –19th Street off Eye St.

10 am to 5:30 PM FREE Viewing


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