Now that an estimated 40 million people are living with HIV worldwide, the AIDS epidemic has exceeded even the most dire predictions that experts made when it first surfaced 25 years ago.
Other numbers are just as grim as the globe prepares to mark World AIDS Day this Friday, Dec. 1. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people, and the United Nations reports that somebody in the world is infected with HIV every 8 seconds.
Since its inception in 1988, World AIDS Day (WorldAidsDay.org) has remembered those who have died of HIV/AIDS. And it's served to educate everybody on AIDS, which continues to generate high infection rates in sub-saharan Africa, as well as spikes in new infections in Eastern Europe and East Asia.
In Multnomah County, health officials say 951 people live with HIV and 1,292 residents died between 1990 and 2004 from HIV-related illnesses. Here are some of the notable local fund-raising and AIDS education events:
Rhythms for Life: A World AIDS Day Benefit Concert
Local R&B stalwart Lloyd Jones headlines a benefit concert for Africa AIDS Response. Also on the bill: Loveness Wesa and Kgotso African Cultural Arts (from Zimbabwe). All proceeds benefit Africa AIDS Response. Pre-auction event includes a reading of Oregon and Southwest Washington natives lost to AIDS, as well as choral music by Abundantly Blessed. Tiffany Center, 1410 SW Morrison St., 284-3355, africaaidsresponse.org. 6 pm patron dinner, 7 pm auction, 8 pm concert. $75 dinner/auction, $15 concert/auction.
Kimpton Red Ribbon Party
Fifth Avenue Suites Hotel hosts this annual party celebrating all things red—including the AIDS red ribbon and, for the evening, a specialty Red Martini ($5). Gifts, jewelry, clothing and other unique items from PDX-area artists are on sale, with 20 percent of the proceeds benefiting Cascade AIDS Project, the Portland area's largest nonprofit dedicated to HIV/AIDS services and prevention/education programs. Also: live jazz and complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres. Fifth Avenue Suites, 506 SW Washington St., 222-0001, cascadeaids.org. 5-8 pm. Admission free, RSVP required (email@example.com).
Kiehl's Shop to Stop AIDS
Kiehl's is donating 100 percent of sales from 5 to 7 pm on World AIDS Day to Youth AIDS, a worldwide nonprofit dedicated to educating and protecting young people against HIV/AIDS. Kiehl's, 712 NW 23rd Ave., 223-7676, kiehls.com.
100th Monkey First Friday Art Show
100th Monkey Art Studio opens a new exhibit displaying art either by people living with HIV/AIDS, or by family or friends of those with the disease. Several pieces are part of the international Zimbabwe Art Project and African AIDS Response. Local artists in the show include Chris Haberman, Beth Ann Short, Joy Leising and Ross Slyter. 110 SE 16th Ave., 232-3457. 6-9 pm. Free.