En español | Honor and observe World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 by joining AARP's expert panelists for an intergenerational town hall about the LGBTQ community, HIV/AIDS, aging and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — including its effect on the Black community.
The panel will air online on Tuesday from 8 to 9 p.m. ET at Divas Simply Singing as part of Divas Health Awareness Week, a series of virtual events intended to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and fight disease-related stigma.
From HIV/AIDS to COVID-19
Leading the panel will be AARP's national LGBTQ liaison, Nii-Quartelai Quartey, and actor and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph. Ralph founded the Diva Foundation, the West Hollywood-based organization behind Divas Health Awareness Week, in 1990 as a way to commemorate the lives of friends who died of HIV/AIDS at the outset of the epidemic and to assist other nonprofits across the country that provide care, education, research and services to those affected or infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, which can develop into AIDS.
Today, an estimated 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States, and the majority of new diagnoses occur among African American men. But people with HIV now are living longer than ever before, and new drugs can suppress the virus to undetectable levels.
AARP's intergenerational town hall will feature conversations about older adults, growing old with HIV and the similarities and differences between the HIV/AIDS and coronavirus pandemics. Originally spurred to activism in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, Ralph says the current COVID-19 crisis, which has exacerbated long-standing health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities, now motivates her.
Other events in the weeklong lineup include Sunday's 30th annual Divas Simply Singing! concert including Leslie Odom Jr., Gloria Gaynor, Jenifer Lewis, Anthony Hamilton and Lalah Hathaway, plus additional performances and expert panels each day during the week.
"These are difficult times for everybody,” Ralph has said. “People are looking to be uplifted and inspired. I'm thrilled to bring our Divas Simply Singing! annual concert to a virtual audience via television and live streaming for our 30th year!"
How to watch
To tune into the AARP World AIDS Day Town Hall or other Divas Health Awareness Week Events, visit divassimplysinging.com. No advance registration or ticket purchase is required.