December 1 marks the 31st anniversary of World AIDS Day

Each year, The Nassau-Suffolk HIV Health Services Planning Council and United Way of Long Island celebrate World AIDS Day with a special event to show support for those living with HIV, remember those who have died from the infection, as well as honor individuals for their work in ending the epidemic. Launched in 1988, the annual observance highlights worldwide efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.  As of December 31, 2016 approximately 5,773 Long Islanders were living with HIV/AIDS.

On The Road Together to End AIDS
As we take a moment to reflect upon the history of HIV/AIDS, the progress we have made in combating it so far, and the road ahead to zero new infections, let us renew our commitment to ending the HIV epidemic through improved community collaboration, targeted prevention messages, maximization of resources and ensuring that consumer voices continue to be heard. 
HIV has transformed from what was once a deadly disease to now a manageable, chronic condition if there is access to high-quality health care, critical support services, and appropriate medications. We now know that people with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed, reach, and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. This discovery has added a new perspective to prevention messages. Important work is still ahead but together, through coordination and collaboration a world without AIDS is within our reach. Together, we can play a leading role in helping diagnose, treat, prevent and respond to end the HIV epidemic and make the dream of zero new infections a true reality.

2019 World AIDS Day Award Recipients
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. This year's recipients are:

Distinguished Provider Award: Terry Maestre, Hispanic Counseling Center
Ending the Epidemic Award:Kerry Thomas, Thursday's Child
Ending the Epidemic Award: Ernesto Hernandez, LGBT Network
The Robert Perez-Sulsona Community Award: June Tappan, Planning Council Member
The Robert Perez-Sulsona Community Award: James Colson, Planning Council Member & Community Advocate

Red Ribbon History
The Red Ribbon is the recognized universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf War, the artists chose to create a red ribbon to symbolize support and solidarity for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. The color red was chosen as a visibly bold representation of passion, a heart, and love. This symbol continues to be powerful force in the efforts to increase public awareness of HIV.  Please wear a red ribbon in remembrance of those who have gone before us as we travel on the road together to end AIDS.

World AIDS Day Event Photos