Houston Health Department

Houston Health Department Commemorates World AIDS Day

November 30, 2021

HOUSTONĀ - The Houston Health Department, in collaboration with several other local health organizations, will unite with communities around the world to support people living with HIV and remember the lives lost.  This year’s World AIDS Day remembrance ceremony and candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002, at 6 p.m.

Nearly 33 million people died of HIV-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic over 40 years ago.  Although there have been many breakthroughs, the fight to cure HIV continues.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston Health Department Director Stephen L. Williams, First Daughter Ashley P. Turner, along with local artists, poets, and entertainers will join event emcee, radio personality Madd Hatta at this year’s ceremony.

“The City of Houston remembers those who lost their lives to HIV and continues to work hard at creating a community where HIV is stigma free and rare,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Now more than ever, the work we do through our education programs and HIV testing centers is vital to increasing awareness and keeping Houstonians safe and healthy.”

In 2020 more than 900 new HIV diagnoses and 360 HIV-related deaths in Houston and Harris County were reported to the department. As of 2019, close to 28,000 people were living with HIV in the Houston/Harris County area and nearly 1.7 million new cases were reported worldwide.

The CDC aims to reduce the number of new diagnoses through the End the HIV Epidemic in the United States by 2030 initiative.  The strategy to diagnose, treat, prevent, and respond will include areas like Harris County based on the number of new diagnoses.

The department offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) at all four of its health centers to the help prevent new diagnoses.

“The Houston Health Department is committed to educating and providing quality HIV services for the city, especially in communities where new HIV cases are prevalent,” Williams said.  “Our health centers continue to expand testing and provide health and education services to keep Houstonians well protected.”

The department offers free and confidential HIV and STI testing at its health centers. To find the nearest location people can call 832-393-5010 or visit the Houston Health Department website for more information.