Charity: World AIDS Day

Despite ongoing efforts by governments, organizations and charities worldwide to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS, an estimated 2.7 million people become infected each year, and an estimated 33 million are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

The numbers are a bleak reminder that we still have a long way to go. No matter how well-versed you and I may be on the subject of HIV/AIDS, there are still far too many among us who remain uninformed, which is why international awareness-raising campaigns like World AIDS Day continue to be so important. The campaign has its 20th anniversary this Monday and two separate events that benefit one important Pinellas organization are held in St. Petersburg to pay tribute.

AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) — a Hospice organization that provides assistance to people infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS — stages a World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast featuring the AIDS Memorial Bells, prayers of reflection and challenge, a musical tribute, a buffet breakfast and an “Oceanside Memorial” on the beach.

Later in the evening, Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project brings "Reflections: A World AIDS Day Concert" to American Stage. The single-night musical retrospective of songs and poetry commemorating World AIDS Day is presented by several Bay area stage artists, among them, Creative Loafing Best of the Bay award-winning actresses Sharon Scott and Julie Rowe, and American Stage jack-of-all-theater-trades T. Scott Wooten. All proceeds benefit ASAP.

World AIDS Day Prayer Breakfast, Mon., Dec. 1, 7:30-9 a.m., Sirata Beach Resort, 5300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, $15 per person/$125 table of 10, 727-328-3264; and Reflections: A World Aids Day Concert, Mon., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., 211 Third St. S., downtown St. Petersburg, “Pay-What-You-Can” admission, 727- 823-7529.

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