World AIDS Day Marked Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Stories@Gilead - November 25, 2020
Each year on December 1, the international community marks World AIDS Day, remembering those who have died of AIDS-related complications and celebrating the progress made treating and preventing HIV.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, an estimated 32.7 million people have died and today 38 million people are living with HIV.
This year, 32 years after the first World AIDS Day, the observance is marked amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, healthcare workers and organizations that care for people living with HIV have worked tirelessly to continue to provide vital services.
This year on World AIDS Day, Gilead is sharing the stories of our community partners, who have kept going amid the pandemic.
“I had to do something, so I spend my time making masks,” says Gert McMullin, Quilt conservator of the National AIDS Memorial. “That’s what we are here for is to help each other.”
Frontline AIDS and People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP)
Frontline AIDS is a UK-based foundation established in 1993 that works with community groups in countries most affected by the AIDS epidemic. Through its Rapid Response Fund, Frontline AIDS supported PASSOP in Cape Town, South Africa, to continue its services of providing support to LGBTQ+ and refugee communities during the pandemic. Part of PASSOP’s efforts included creating a mobile clinic that provides access to services, food and other essential items for people living with HIV.
Victor Chikalogwe, Executive Director of PASSOP
The Love Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand, that campaigns for LGBTQ+ equity and sexual health awareness. At the start of the pandemic, the Love Foundation created a virtual platform to connect youth living with HIV in Thailand with each other and to provide information on services and healthcare education.
Teak Sowaprux, Co-Founder of Love Foundation
National AIDS Memorial
The National AIDS Memorial was created more than 28 years ago in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to offer a place for those affected by the HIV epidemic to both grieve and begin the process of healing. Earlier this year, Gilead worked with The NAMES Project Foundation to move more than 50,000 individual panels of The AIDS Memorial Quilt back to San Francisco, where it will permanently reside. During the pandemic, volunteers at The National AIDS Memorial have sewn thousands of masks for people in need from leftover Quilt fabric.
Gert McMullin, Quilt conservator of the National AIDS Memorial