World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil Moves to Montrose  

By | November 24, 2014
Photo by Juan Islas.
Legacy Community Health Services is expanding its observation of World AIDS Day this year. Photo by Juan Islas.

Given its history as the epicenter of gay culture in Houston, the fight against HIV/AIDS has long had a particular importance in Montrose. Perhaps suitably, then, the Montrose observation of World AIDS Day will add another element when the city’s candlelight vigil, held in past years at Tranquility Park downtown, moves to Legacy Community Health Services.

The vigil, presented in partnership with the Montrose Center and the City of Houston, will be held Monday, December 1 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. outside Legacy’s Montrose campus, at 1415 California Street, just off Westheimer between Commonwealth and Waughcrest. Attending the event will be State Representative Sylvester Turner, who will read the World AIDS Day state proclamation, as well as State Senator Rodney Ellis, U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Councilmembers Richard Nguyen and Ellen Cohen, and Mayor Pro Tem Ed Gonzalez, who will read the city’s World AIDS Day proclamation.

World AIDS Day, one of eight public health days recognized by the World Health Organization, began in 1988 as a way to draw attention to HIV/AIDS testing and education. It gained impetus in the U.S. in 2007 when the White House began displaying a 28-foot long AIDS ribbon across the North Portico. Legacy, which traces its involvement with HIV/AIDS treatment back more than 30 years, has a long tradition of highlighting World AIDS Day, but this year, according to Legacy’s Director of Communications Ciandra Jackson, they wanted to “expand it, make it more robust.”

The candlelight vigil is one element of that. Others include an emphasis on Legacy’s ongoing practice of free testing for HIV, red ribbon commemorative building lights from Saturday November 29 through Monday December 1, a Montrose Center showing of The Normal Heart, the movie version of Larry Kramer’s famous play about the early days of the AIDS crisis, and an educational push about Pre-exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP, a relatively new HIV prevention regimen for people who are HIV-negative. (For more on PrEP, see this earlier MMD story.)

Calendar of Events

Red Ribbon Commemorative Building Lights
Saturday, November 29 to Monday, December 1
Legacy Community Health Services, Montrose Campus

World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil
Monday, December 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Legacy Community Health Services, Montrose Campus

The Normal Heart Movie Screening and Dinner
Monday, December 1, 7-9 p.m.
The Montrose Center

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The Montrose Management District
board workshop meeting scheduled for April 3
has been postponed indefinitely.