World AIDS Day

WCBS 880

Solemn Yet Inspired, New York Marks World AIDS Day

December 02, 2018 - 1:03 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New York and the world observed World AIDS Day on Saturday, and for many it was a bittersweet day – one of solemnness and hope.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was among the group of people who met at the AIDS Memorial Park in Greenwich Village on Saturday evening to honor the 100,000 New York City residents who died from the disease. 

Johnson said he had “weird feelings” because so much progress has been made but so many people have died over the decades.  

"You're solemnly remembering those that we've lost to HIV and AIDS in this epidemic, while at the exact same time fiercely trying to inspire people to continue on the fight,” Johnson said.

It’s a personal fight for Johnson. He’s been HIV positive for 14 years. He was diagnosed in 2004, when he was 22.  

“I am alive today because of activism,” he said.

The disease now primarily affects people of color and people in poverty.

“It’s centered in central Brooklyn and in Harlem and in the South Bronx,” Johnson said.

But there are some good signs. Last year showed the lowest number ever of new diagnoses in the city.

“It’s time for us – this generation – to commit to doing it together. Ending HIV, AIDS and this epidemic once and for all,” Johnson said.

A fleet of LED trucks was dispatched throughout the city showing quotes conveying the history and the ongoing battle.