Concert Held to Spread AIDS Awareness
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All over the world, each city found its own way to recognize the impact of the HIV virus, and spread awareness.
Different faiths in the Rochester community came together for a candlelight vigil.
Community volunteers along with AIDS Care and the Rochester Victory Alliance held the 12th annual World AIDS Day Concert.
Each performance symbolized part of a threefold plan toward a cure.
"People ask, 'How did you get HIV? Well, really, why is it important?' It's important to love. It's important to accept," said concert producer Scotty Ginnett.
"They think if you have HIV then you're gay. It can be me, it can be you, it can be anybody," said Aids survivor Ernest Wilson.
It was a day filled with hope, while also putting the disease into perspective. According to Aids.gov, more than one million people in the United States are living with HIV. And one in five of those infected are unaware of their infection.
"They're afraid of getting rejected, of bashing or hate, it's a big fear," said Ginnett.
Ernest Wilson admits that after living with AIDS for 25 years, he said, "First of course I went through denial and all that."
It's still difficult to tell other’s he’s “positive.” In fact, he said our interview was another way to tell the world.
"It was like getting a monkey off my back, wondering who to tell and who not to tell, so I figured I'd just put it out there," he said. "If you liked me before, you'll like me now."
Wilson says the focus needs to be on educating the younger generation.
"Don’t be afraid to put it in the schools, to teach them about HIV," said Wilson.
"We deal with it as a global issue and we work together to fight it, that's where we are today," said Garrett.