The theme of the 2019 World AIDS Day Community Luncheon is “HIV & The Trans Experience”
. Our featured speaker will be Tori Cooper
, an Atlanta-based transgender HIV activist who will discuss her personal story in the context of the broader intersection of HIV and the trans experience.
Ms. Cooper has received numerous awards for her work and is a published author most recently appearing in print and video for NBC News
, HuffPost, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Advocate and other periodicals as well as on YouTube and other media platforms.
Ms. Cooper is also featured on the cover of the current issue of POZ Magazine
as one of "The POZ 100" for 2019.
Her work is featured in two documentaries titled The Silent Epidemic
and Hidden Epidemic
about her work in the trans community to end HIV in the South. She is a staunch believer in health and financial equity and vigorously fights for trans people and people living with HIV.
Catherine Ball tearfully accepts the Mark Doucet Volunteer of the Year Award in 2018.
The World AIDS Day Community Luncheon is a free event that will feature a moment of remembrance for those lost to HIV/AIDS, several additional speakers, and the presentation of the Mark Doucet Volunteer of the Year Award.
A complimentary buffet lunch will be served.
Transgender individuals are at much higher risk of contracting HIV than the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
, around 14%
of trans women are living with HIV, and about half
of those women are African American. Around half
of transgender people living with HIV live in the South.
World AIDS Day
was founded in 1988 becoming the first ever global health day. It is celebrated around the world to remember those lost to AIDS-related causes, spread awareness about HIV prevention and care, and inspire action to end the epidemic once and for all. Worldwide, 37.9 million people are living with HIV. In Western North Carolina, approximately 2,000 people are living with HIV.
Prevention Educator Michael Harney and former Special Events Coordinator Randy Rodriguez at the 2018 World AIDS Day Community Luncheon.