Legacy’s annual observance will take place virtually this year.
By Barrett White
It’s no secret that Legacy’s roots were planted right at the onset of the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s. While HIV is no longer a death sentence when treated appropriately, we all must remain vigilant and fight complacency.
According to AIDSVu, there are over 27,000 people living with HIV in Houston right now. The most recent data shows that in 2018 alone, over 1,200 people were newly diagnosed in the city. What’s more, Houston reflects the national trend: The Black community is disproportionately affected by the virus. While Black individuals make up only 23% of Houston’s population, this community makes up nearly 50% of all new and existing HIV infections.
The good news is, while the HIV epidemic is still very real, the work that Legacy and others do is not in vain. Nearly 60% of all people living with HIV in Houston have achieved undetectable status, meaning that through proper and consistent HIV treatment, their viral load has dropped so low that they cannot pass HIV on to another person.
As wonderful as this news is, we can still strive for a percentage greater than 60.
Every year, Legacy hosts a World AIDS Day vigil at our Montrose clinic. This year, we are observing virtually. Please join us this evening, December 1, at 6:00 PM for a livestreamed event featuring 104.1 KRBE radio DJ Special K; Regina Thorne-DuBois, host of The Broad’s Way, a Broadway drag revue; Reverend Laura Mayo of Covenant Church; and Legacy’s own chief medical officer Dr. Vian Nguyen; with a musical appearance by Eddie Castillo of Amistades HTX.
Free walk-in HIV testing will be available today, December 1, until 5:00 PM at the following locations in Houston:
- Wellness Bar by Legacy, 120 Westheimer Road
- Legacy Montrose, 1415 California Street
- Legacy Midtown Main, 2401 Main Street
- Legacy Santa Clara, 5616 Lawndale Street
- Legacy Fifth Ward, 3811 Lyons Avenue
- Legacy Northline, 5598 North Freeway
- Legacy Mapleridge, 6550 Mapleridge Street
- Legacy Southwest, 6441 High Star Drive (Open until 8:00 PM)
On December 1, free appointment-only HIV and syphilis testing will take place in Beaumont (Legacy Central Beaumont, 450 North 11th Street), with refreshments and chances to win prizes. Call ahead and make your appointment at (409) 242-2613.
Additionally, there will be free and discreet HIV and syphilis testing with free breakfast for those getting tested at Legacy Central Beaumont (450 North 11th Street) every Friday morning in December from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
This year’s virtual vigil will be streamed on Legacy’s Facebook page at 6:00 PM.
For more information on this year’s observance, please visit our website here.