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Ozarks Recognizes World AIDS Day

With World AIDS Day taking place Wednesday, an Ozarks group is doing their part to raise awareness about the disease. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the report.

To kick things off, the AIDS Project of the Ozarks will be offering testing to students on the campuses of Drury University and Missouri S&T in Rolla.

Later in the evening the APO, in collaboration with Missouri State and Evangel’s schools of social work, will host a candlelight vigil at Founders Park in downtown Springfield.

The event will feature music from the MSU gospel choir, as well speakers who are either currently living with HIV or are the parents of someone who died of AIDS.

More than 16 million children on the planet have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. So to Marlin Martin, the director of Outreach and Linkage to Care at the APO, a day like this can push awareness through the roof.

“As one person crying on a street corner you don’t have a whole lot of impact, but when you end up with three or four hundred people coming to one location for one purpose and for one goal, which is to raise HIV awareness, you certainly have much more impact,” Martin says.

To close the day out, AIDS Project of the Ozarks will host an after dark event at 303 Park Central West, where they will show the documentary “All of Us”, which chronicles the HIV diagnosis of two African-American women.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.

TAG: Again, those events will all occur Wednesday, which is World AIDS Day.