Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Team Indianapolis came together on World AIDS Day 2009 to take part and assist with events that were already organized around the community. A choice was made to take part in these events and help with whatever was needed instead of putting together our own event or plan something separate on our own. The team's first task of the day was to help the Indiana State Department of Health publicly launch their new HIV testing campaign entitled, "One Test, Two Lives." The statewide campaign, put together by the ISDH and other local health organizations, was launched on December 1st, in order to curb the transmission of perinatal HIV transmission. The One Test, Two Lives campaign goals are to encourage all pregnant mothers in Indiana to be tested for HIV, no matter what, in order to prevent any more children in the state from catching HIV from their mothers during pregnancy and/or childbirth.

We spent out morning assisting One Test, Two Lives campaign staff, from the ISDH, set up their presentation forum, in the North Atrium of the Indiana State House. This venue placed The One Test, Two Lives campaign, as well as World AIDS Day literally right in the center of the state's arena for policy, law, and government. We were surrounded by the offices of state house and senate representations, state supreme court judges, and the governor and lieutenant governor.

The ceremony went without a hitch. Various doctors in the pediatric HIV field spoke, as well as the presentation of awards to supporters, and the reading of a piece written by an HIV-positive mother of two HIV-negative children. Press was invited to attend the event, to further assist with getting the message out that all mothers should be tested.

The evening of World AIDS Day had many events going on around the city, so the team divided the events in order to have a broader reach throughout the community. A local church, The Church Within, in downtown Indianapolis held a ceremony to honor those living with and those affected by HIV. The team helped with parking before the event and then with the event itself, which included performances by the men's and women's choirs, panels of the AIDS Quilt on display, as well as lots of cookies and punch! One local woman played the guitar while singing an original piece. Those wanting to participate in the memorial service were encouraged to light a candle and say the name of the person who they were remembering.

A second World AIDS Day event attended by team members, going on at the same time as The Church Within's event, was hosted by the Indiana Minority AIDS Coalition. This event, titled "The Courage To Live," commemorated World AIDS Day and honored champions in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The event was held at the Skyline club, on the 36th floor of Indianapolis' One America Building, the second-tallest building in the city. The event's keynote speaker was a consumer and client from one of the team's host agencies, the LifeCare Program of Clarian Health. Key players in the HIV community (individuals and organizations) were honored for their continued commitment to the fight against HIV.

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