On December 1st, the Central Florida Ryan White HIV/AIDS Planning Council hosted their annual World AIDS Day event, which invited leaders from across Central Florida to join together in reflection of the work done to build on the HIV/AIDS movement over the past 30 years.
We gathered to renew our commitment to an AIDS free generation by addressing the epidemic together, remembering those lost over the years that gave their bodies and voices for the movement, and to uplift those living their truth openly or within themselves. The burn of stigma can be deadly, and so as we unearth new and innovative ways to combat the impacts of HIV on our communities we must be mindful of how our actions and our language are received by our friends and loved ones living with HIV. We celebrate the ways in which our communities flourish and thrive, and examine and address the reasons why others are without access to care. As Florida moves higher in it's ranking of new HIV transmissions in the country, we think critically and strategically as we continue the dialogue, open new seats at the table, and reach our under represented, underserved, and under resourced communities.
During the evening's programming, QLatinx's Digital Media Coordinator and local advocate Carlitos Xavier Díaz Rodriguez was recognized for his endless role in support of organizations, initiatives, and individuals who are working to address the HIV epidemic in the Latinx and Black communities of Central Florida. He is a tireless advocate for justice and his leadership is inspirational. We are so honored to work alongside him, and to see his incredible efforts celebrated.