December 1, 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Developed by the World Health Organization in 1998, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS.

Observance of this day provides an opportunity for governments, national AIDS programs, churches, community organizations and individuals to demonstrate the importance of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Presently it is estimated that 36.9 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, with 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS. With a goal of reducing the number of new HIV cases to 750 by 2020. New York State is in the forefront of ending the AIDS epidemic.

The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness and is worn as a sign of support for people living with HIV. It is a simple way to challenge the stigma and prejudice surrounding HIV and AIDS. Accept the Call to Action and wear a red ribbon for the entire month of December to remember those who have gone before us and celebrate the lives of those who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Each year, the Consumer Involvement Committee of the Nassau-Suffolk HIV Health Services Planning Council and United Way of Long Island recognizes individuals for their work with HIV/AIDS.

The 2018 World AIDS Day Award Recipients are:

Felix Ruiz
- PrEP Educator at Hudson River Health Care

Blanca Nunez
- Transportation Director for the Ryan White Part A Program at Circulo de la Hispanidad

Clara Crawford
- Community leader and member of the N-S Health Services Planning Council

Eileen Byrant -
Community leader and peer worker at Stony Brook University Hospital

Award Recipients Eileen Bryant, Felix M. Ruiz, Clara Crawford, Blanca Nunez

Guests pose for a picture

World AIDS Day Planning Committee

Dr. James Tomarken, MD Commissioner SCDOH speaks the guests alongside Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, MD Commissioner NCDOH