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Houston Organizations Honor World AIDS Day This Wednesday

Virtual events, free HIV testing, drag performances, and more.

World AIDS Day is this Wednesday, December 1. The international observance was founded in 1988 to unite people in the fight against HIV by urging them to show support for people living with the disease and remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. 

Houston organizations are commemorating the holiday with events you won’t want to miss. Read on for details about local World AIDS Day celebrations. 

HIV Testing Events at Legacy 
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Legacy’s Fifth Ward, Montrose, and Southwest clinics 

Three Legacy Community Health clinic locations are offering free one-minute HIV testing in honor of World AIDS Day. Drop by Legacy Fifth Ward (3811 Lyons Avenue), Legacy Montrose (1415 California Street), or Legacy Southwest (6441 High Star Drive) to get tested in addition to a free breakfast and a chance to win prizes. Appointments are not required. 

For more information, visit

Rothko Chapel’s World AIDS Day Observance
8 a.m., online

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Rothko Chapel hosts a virtual morning observance to show support for the millions of people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS.

The morning program includes live music, personal testimonials, and a guided reflection. AIDS Foundation Houston’s chief program officer Jeffrey Cambell will share information on the state of the battle against HIV and Houston and Texas. Shadawn McCants, owner and clinical director of Know and Live Counseling and Consulting, will provide a testimonial on living with HIV. Moments of reflection will be led by Rev. Troy Treash, senior pastor of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church. Harpist Kelsey Sham will perform music throughout the morning.

This event is free with a suggested donation of $5 or $10. 

To register or donate, visit

Wellness Bar by Legacy World AIDS Day Event
4 p.m., Wellness Bar 

Wellness Bar by Legacy, a spa-like preventive care facility operated by Legacy Community Health, celebrates World AIDS Day with an evening event in Montrose featuring entertainment, complimentary refreshments and giveaways, free flu and COVID-19 vaccines, free HIV testing, and more. 

Emceed by Texas’ bearded beauty Blackberri with live music from DJ Panda, there will be performances by Paris Platinum, Kale A’lily, La’darius Mirage Jackson, Lelani Jackson-Ross, and Alexye’us Paris. The event also offers an opportunity to meet Wellness Bar staff—including their newest team member, nurse practitioner Maggie White.

For more information, visit

Houston World AIDS Day 
6 p.m., Sam Houston Park

The City of Houston commemorates World AIDS Day with a ceremony at Sam Houston Park to remember those who have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The public outdoor event will highlight 40 years of local and national HIV milestones, and will feature Mayor Sylvester Turner, first daughter Ashley Turner, radio personality Madd Hatta, Houston Health Department director Stephen L. Williams, and more. 

Representatives from local healthcare agencies Avenue 360, Montrose Center, Harris County Public Health, AIDS Foundation Houston, the Houston Health Department, and more will be on-site to discuss their work. The ceremony will conclude with a candlelight vigil.

For more info, visit

AIDS Foundation Houston’s Virtual Experience
6:30 p.m., online and at BeDesign  

Presented by Chevron and emceed by Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse, AFH’s World AIDS Day event features remarks from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and more. The event also includes spotlights from AFH board members and staff, client testimonials, and performances. Shelby Hodge will present the 2021 Shelby Hodge Vision Award to honoree Paul Kawata, executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council. An interview between Kawata and Manouse will follow. 

Tickets to the virtual event start at $10, and proceeds support AFH in its mission to end the HIV epidemic in the Greater Houston area. Those interested in an in-person viewing experience can attend AFH’s VIP watch party at BeDesign and enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and front-row seats for the live entertainment. Tickets for the watch party are available at the Host Committee level ($500 for a pair of tickets) and for all underwriter packages ($1,500).  

For more info or tickets, visit


Lourdes Zavaleta

Lourdes Zavaleta is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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