Community gathers to raise awareness, remember those impacted by AIDS


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – People in Shreveport are remembering lives lost from a dangerous disease.

December 1 is World Aids Day. In observance, people gathered at Holy Cross Episcopal Church for a candlelight vigil and name-reading ceremony honoring those taken by the virus.

This is the 31st year for the event, meant to raise awareness about the ongoing impact of the diagnosis, as well as available treatments.

“This is why we come together mainly is to remember them,” said Chip Eakins, former advocacy coordinator for the Philadelphia Center. “But, also I think it helps us to realize how far we’ve come with treatments and with the things that we have now that we offer.”

Eakins was honored with a Lifetime Advocacy Award at the ceremony. The award is presented on World AIDS Day to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the community in the area of HIV advocacy and services.

The Philadelphia Center is a local resource for information about HIV and AIDS. Nationwide, about 1.1 million people are living with HIV. More than 22,000 of those are Louisiana residents.

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