MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The official World AIDS Day will be observed on Tuesday, Dec. 1, to recognize those affected by HIV or AIDS, including those who have been diagnosed or passed away from the disease.
A therapeutic art experience is happening on that day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Keller Memorial Building on Bayou Street in Mobile. One of those artists, Tyrome Tover, a peer mentor with the Mobile County Health Department, discussed the art event on the 4 on 5 Tuesday.
“It’s a form of therapy because it’s an actual celebrating of life — a celebration of World AIDS Day through life,” Tover said.
Tover has been a fighter in the AIDS/HIV activism movement since 1993.
“Now it’s time to celebrate and that’s exactly what we’re going to do through art,” Tover said.
According to HIV.gov, about 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV. About 14 percent of them (1 in 7) do not know it and need testing. HIV continues to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, and gay and bisexual men.
The Mobile County Health Department says getting tested is the first step to finding out if a person has HIV. If a person has contracted HIV, getting medical care, along with taking medicines regularly, helps them to live a longer and healthier life. It also lowers the chances of passing HIV on to others.