HFUW’s Ryan White Program Recognizes Long-term Survivors of HIV/AIDS and the Impact of the Epidemic at the World AIDS Day Intimate Reflections Event 

Blog World AIDS Day 2022

Our community is devoted to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It’s hard work and it won’t be easy but, together, we can do it.  

This year on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2022, the Central Florida HIV Planning Council (CFHPC), in partnership with our Ryan White program, hosted their sixth annual World AIDS Day (WAD) event — WAD 2022: Intimate Reflections at the Orlando Shakes theatre.  

What is World AIDS Day?  

This day is an opportunity for our community to Live United for those living with HIV/AIDS and remember those who have passed from an AIDS-related illness. 

With the support of Heart of Florida United Way’s Ryan White program and other organizations, like the CFHPC, and individuals devoted to ending the epidemic, we can empower those living with HIV/AIDS and prevent further transmission.  

Moments of Reflection  

During the WAD 2022: Intimate Reflections event, three long-term survivors shared their testimonies about their personal experiences living with HIV/AIDS.  

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It was also an honor to witness the Quilt ceremony, presented by QLatinx Executive Director Gabriella Rodriguez, which represents those we have lost and the courage of the individuals dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

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This evening continued with live music and dance performances that focused on the history of AIDS, the progression toward treatment, and the work that still needs to be done to end the social stigma of HIV/AIDS

During the final moments of the event, Ira D. Westbrook was recognized as the honoree of the 2022 Service Award, Scott Bowles accepted the 2022 Unsung Hero Award, and Colleen Cunningham accepted the 2022 Brevard Unsung Hero Award. It was an honor to recognize these individuals who have dedicated a significant amount of their time and efforts to end the HIV epidemic.

What You Can Do 

  • Advocate for those who are living with HIV/AIDS and the research toward reducing transmissions across Central Florida 
  • Donate to Heart of Florida United Way, so we can continue to support our community in ending the epidemic, 

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